Why does nasal decolonization play a role in SSI prevention
“S. aureus is the leading health care-associated pathogen in hospitals worldwide. These infections are associated with substantial morbidity and mortality and this trend is increasing due to the widespread dissemination of MRSA. […] Nasal carriage of S. aureus is now considered a well-defined risk factor for subsequent infection in various patient groups.” (WHO)1
A high proportion of SSIs caused by S. aureus is due to the fact that the patients themselves are nasal carriers of this pathogen. (KRINKO)2
“No recommendation to preoperative apply mupirocin to nares to prevent SSI.”
“The panel recommends that patients undergoing cardiothoracic and orthopaedic surgery with known nasal carriage of S. aureus should receive perioperative intranasal applications of mupirocin 2% ointment with or without a combination of CHG body wash.”
Strong recommendation, moderate quality of evidence
|“The panel suggests considering to treat also patients with known nasal carriage of S. aureus undergoing other types of surgery with perioperative intranasal applications of mupirocin 2% ointment with or without a combination of CHG body wash.”
|Conditional recommendation, moderate quality of evidence
“Consider nasal mupirocin in combination with a chlorhexidine body wash before procedures in which Staphylococcus aureus is a likely cause of a surgical site infection. This should be locally determined and take into account:
|“Maintain surveillance on antimicrobial resistance associated with the use of mupirocin.”
In cardiac surgery and orthopaedic operations, patients with nasal colonization with S. aureus should undergo preoperative decolonization of the nose with mupirocin nasal ointment 2% alone or in combination with body washing with chlorhexidine gluconate.
|Alternatively, the use of antiseptics for the nose and skin may be useful in these patients.
|This treatment should also be carried out for other types of surgery with a high proportion of S. aureus as a pathogen of wound infections for S. aureus carriers.
"Minimising MRSA colonization in patients is a key measure to reduce the risk of SSI."
Practice routine decolonization with mupirocin nasal ointment with or without body washing with chlorhexidine
during cardiac surgery and orthopaedic operations in patients with nasal colonization with S. aureus1,2
The recently updated SHEA compendium is broader on this aspect, moving it from an “additional approach” to “essential practice”. The SHEA recommends decolonization with an “antistaphylococcal agent” for all orthopaedic and cardiothoracic procedures and additionally for procedures with a high risk of staphylococcal SSI.5
However, with general decolonization there is a higher risk of developing resistance to mupirocin and chlorhexidine.2
Consider decolonization with mupirocin nasal ointment with or without body washing with chlorhexidine
- in patients with known nasal carriage of S. aureus undergoing other types of surgery1
- in other types of surgery with S. aureus as a probable cause of SSI2,4
Consider the following points when determining:4
- type of procedure
- individual patient risk
- increased risk of side effects in
to this procedure use antiseptics for the nose and skin2
SSI risk with S. aureus colonization compared to non-colonization
Potential consequences of Staphylococcus infections in hospitalised patients 1
- WHO (2016) Global guidelines for the prevention of surgical site infection. World Health Organization 2016.
- KRINKO (2018) Prävention postoperativer Wundinfektionen. Empfehlungen der Kommission für Krankenhaushygiene und Infektionsprävention
(KRINKO) beim Robert Koch-Institut. Bundesgesundheitsbl 61: 448–473.
- CDC (1999) Guideline for Prevention of Surgical Site Infection. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 20(4): 247–278.
- NICE (2020) Surgical site infections: prevention and treatment. NICE guidelines. Published: 11 April 2019. Last updated:19 August 2020.
- Calderwood MS, et al. (2023) Strategies to prevent surgical site infection in acute-care hospitals: 2022 Update. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 44:
Multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO) are on the rise worldwide. Due to the limited treatment options for MDRO infections, hygiene management plays a key role in their prevention. Learn all about hygiene measures and effectiveness of disinfectants.
Here you will find a selection of recent studies and publications...
Related & interesting
HARTMANN launched the innovative and unique Virtual Reality Wound Care Training at the WUWHS 2022 in Abu Dhabi. This technology provides a 3D VR Simulation and revolutionizes Wound Care Training by offering a life like clinical experience in wound management.