Preventing and managing surgical site infections across health care sectors

Project period: 2017–2020

EWMA Document

While guidelines for preventing and managing surgical site infections (SSI) in hospitals are in place in many countries there is still a need for guidance on how to deal with SSI management and prevention in community care. A set of recommendations on this topic covering primary as well secondary care, and targeting health care professionals in hospital as well as community based nurses and general practitioners, does not yet exist.

To address these challenges, EWMA published a document on the topic in 2020. The document was developed in collaboration with Association for the Advancement of Wound Care (AAWC), Infection Prevention Society (IPS) and Wounds Australia.

The main objectives of the EWMA SSI project were to:

  • Map the SSI incidence, prevalence and high risk areas, based on published information and data available from SSI-registries.
  • Present the available modern techniques for prevention and treatment of surgical site infections, including assessment of cost effectiveness, patient mobility, pain etc.
  • Provide best practice recommendations for SSI management and prevention in hospitals and community care.


The document is availble for free download (see right column of this page)

Read a document introduction here


Download the document free of charge here

Please note that you will be redirected to the EWMA Knowledge Centre. 

Author group:

Jan Stryja (Editor), Czech Republic, Vascular Surgeon (EWMA), Centre of vascular and miniinvasive surgery, Hospital Podlesi, The Czech Republic. Salvatella Ltd., Centre of non-healing wounds treatment, Podiatric outpatients' department, The Czech Republic.

Kylie Sandy-Hodgetts (Co-editor), Senior Research Fellow/Senior Lecturer, University of Western Australia

Mark Collier, Independent – formerly at the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, c/o Pilgrim Hospital, UK

Claus Moser, Rigshospitalet, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Denmark

Karen Ousey, UK, Professor of Skin Integrity, University of Huddersfield

Sebastian Probst, University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland, Switzerland

Jennie Wilson, UK, Epidemiologist, Infection Prevention Society, University of West London, College of Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare,  UK

Deborah Xuereb, Infection Prevention Nurse, Mater Dei Hospital, Malta

Other EWMA ressources on surgical site infections

This short video introduces a EWMA Document (Published in 2020) and the webinar series (2021) on Surgical Site Infections.

These EWMA ressources takes the reader/audience through the important aspects of the prevention and management of surgical site infections across health care sectors. 

You can access the webinar series on surgical site infections on-demand here.

Project sponsors

This project is supported by an unrestricted grant from: