The classification of surgical wounds or incisions is considered as part of an array of information utilized by doctors, surgeons and medical centers. The classification of surgical wounds is aimed at the surgical incision. It simply means that the holds that are created by the stitches that are used to close an incision are not included. In case an infection develops, it is considered as a skin infection. The surgical wound system that is utilized by the CDC has four classifications.
In a wound that is classified as clean, the surgeon does not expect to cut it up open any part of the body that might have or prone to infection or inflammation such as the stomach or urinary tract. Additionally, this type of incision is always closed right after surgery and any tubing that is inserted is used to drain fluids away from the surgery site is connected to a sealed container.
When wounds are classified as clean-contaminated, the surgeon expects to create an incision in a location in the body that might have an infection, though it is not expected to have one. It simply means that surgery on the urinary tract can possibly lead to or aggravate an infection, but the surgeon will not think that it will occur. In some types of surgeries, they are automatically included in this classification as long as the infection is not expected and does not develop. These are surgical procedures that involve the appendix, biliary tract, oropharynx and vagina.
The wounds that are classified as contaminated are those that develop when the sterile surgical methods have been put aside to provide a life-saving treatment or emergency care to the individual. The wound can also categorized under this classification if a certain amount of material from the gastrointestinal tract spills out or the surgeon encounters an acute inflammation around the incision.
When it comes to the classification of dirty-infected, it includes wounds that are considered to be infected before the surgery was started. The surgeon is aware that the individual has a present infection, a wound site or old injury with dead tissue or a perforation of one of the internal organs in the abdomen. With this in mind, extra precautions must be taken into consideration in order to contain the infection.
Important considerations to bear in mind
It is vital to note that not all surgical wounds can be categorized into the four standard classifications. It is noted by the CDC that procedures carried out in out-patient clinic setting, pediatrics and some of the minimally invasive surgeries can pose as a challenge to the standard classifications. The surgeon should use his/her judgment in order to determine the classification as well as the degree of likelihood that an infection can occur due to the surgery that will be performed.