Possible surgical site infection advice for GPs

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Southern NSW LHD Orthopaedic surgeons and the infection prevention consultant have some advice for GPs regarding possible surgical site infection of patients.

If a patient presents with signs and symptoms of possible implantable items surgical site infection or inflammation, Southern NSW Local Health District Orthopaedic surgeons and the infection prevention consultant are requesting GPs:

  • inform the surgeon who performed the surgery (or their specialty / surgical registrar)
  • do not commence antibiotics before discussion with an Infectious Diseases Physician.

When antibiotics are administered prior to sterile fluid and tissue samples being taken, it often leads to a ‘no growth’ result. Should long term antibiotics be necessary, it is difficult to prescribe without a microbiology growth result and sensitivities being available.

General practices are encouraged to refer to the Hip and Knee Joint Replacement pathway on ACT & Southern NSW HealthPathways for localised information.