Hot weather can increase SSI incidence by nearly 30%

A new study, published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, links high temperatures to an increase in risk of surgical site infection-related hospitalizations.

Researchers used the National Inpatient Sample database to identify all hospital discharges with a primary diagnosis of SSI from 1998 to 2011. They used data from the National Climatic Data Center to estimate the monthly average temperatures for all hospital locations.

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The study shows that SSI incidence is seasonal, with the highest SSI incidence occurring in August and the lowest in January. Researchers found there were 26.5 percent more SSI cases in August than in January.

Additionally, the odds of a hospitalization with a primary diagnosis of SSI increased by around 2.1 percent with every 5 degree Fahrenheit increase in average monthly temperature. Temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit increased the odds of a SSI-related hospital admission by 28.9 percent compared to temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

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