, Volume 28, Issue 5, pp 523-527
Date: 02 Feb 2012

Pediatric surgical site infection in the developing world: a Kenyan experience

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The purpose of the current study was to determine the incidence of pediatric surgical site infections (SSIs) at an academic children’s hospital in rural sub-Saharan Africa and to identify potentially modifiable risk factors.


Prospectively collected data from 1,008 surgical admissions to BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital (Kijabe, Kenya) were analyzed retrospectively. Follow-up data were available in 940 subjects.


SSIs occurred in 6.8% of included subjects (N = 64). Superficial (69%) and deep (29%) infections of the back (38%) and head (25%) were most common. When comparing children who developed SSI to those who did not, we found that wound contamination classification and duration of operation were the only variables with significant differences between groups.


Our rate of SSI among pediatric patients in sub-Saharan Africa is the lowest reported in the literature to date. More work is needed to identify modifiable risk factors for pediatric SSI in low- and middle-income countries.