Due to some violation of safety precautions before, during, and after surgery, these or other freshly colonized bacteria in the hospital environment may enter the wound and cause infection, where bacteria now easily penetrate the wounded skin. As mentioned earlier, injury and inflammation caused by surgical manipulation may also help the nosocomial bacteria enter into the wound after being transmitted from somewhere else from within the hospital environment. In effect such infections in the surgical wound would slow down the approximation of the wound edges, delay wound healing, lead to morbidity, and cause increased economic burden, increased hospital stay, and increased incidence of other infections. Usually the patients present with increased pain in the surgical wound as a result of inflammatory process early in the infection, redness at the wound margins that spreads unless treated, drainage from the wound margin, fever due to infection, and ultimately breakage of the wound (Pryor et al., 2004).
Such cases are often encountered in clinical surgical nursing practice, and the nursing assessment usually yields the following diagnoses, risk for infection, impaired skin integrity, impaired tissue integrity, and delayed surgical recovery. Thus this is a recognised surgical nursing care problem the evidence-based knowledge about which would be helpful in clinical practice nursing. While the problem is evident and common one, in this author's clinical practice as a surgical nurse in the Jacobi Medical Center, despite an uniform age distribution in the surgical cases, it is a common finding that female patients develop postoperative infections more frequently, and as a result they on an average have a longer postoperative stay, and in some cases, following discharge from the hospital, they return to the hospital with wound discharge, breakdown, or infections. This leads to a focus question, why these female patients have an increased preponderance of wound infection. To find out the answers, this author has chosen the age group of 30 to 50-year-old female surgical patients, so the answers to this question in the context of these patients are found out from the literature. The findings may prove to serve as evidence base where change in practice in such cases may be mandated.
Why so many women between the ages of 30 to 50 develop postoperative infection
To this end, a literature search was conducted with key words postoperative infection, females, women, nursing care, surgical nursing, wound infection, and wound care. Out of the available literature which included studies, research articles, and reviews, including both quantitative and qualitative literature, six recent articles were selected for critical review in order to point out the evidence available. It is to be mentioned that although the assignment requirement only mentions nursing literature, it would not be prudent to include only nursing literature since the cause of surgical site infection may also lie in the operating room management and handling of the skin, the magnitude of the operative procedure, the technical dexterity of the surgical team, and safety protocol