, 15:379
Date: 23 Oct 2013

Perioperative Infection in the Patient with Rheumatic Disease

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The risk of infection accompanies the benefits of surgery. Immunomodulatory chronic illnesses may increase the risk of surgical infections. Surgical patients with rheumatologic illness need close preoperative assessment regarding their infection risks (fixed and modifiable), which vary on the basis of the proposed procedure, specific rheumatologic illness, and underlying comorbidities. Modification of the medication regimens in the preoperative period may decrease risk and enhance healing. Intraoperative antisepsis and antibiotic prophylaxis remain critical in this patient population. Postoperative fevers within 3 days of surgery are usually noninfectious but require vigilance and attention. The principles of surgical infection reduction are not different in the rheumatologic and general patient populations, but best practice depends on expertise in caring for patients with these illnesses.

This article is part of the Topical Collection on Surgery and Perioperative Care