International Issues In Infection Prevention

Concurrent Education Session - 60 minutes

3009 - Surgical Wound Classification: Why Can't We All Agree?

Friday, June 16
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Location: Oregon Convention Center, B 117-119

This presentation will use an interactive format to help infection preventionists and perioperative RNs correctly classify surgical wounds. Procedures of questionable classification will be discussed and the correct classification provided. According to the CDC, surgical wounds should be classified according to the degree of wound contamination at the time of surgery. The surgical wound classification has been shown to be a predictor of the probability that a wound infection will occur. The classification allows for comparison of wound infection rates associated with different surgical techniques, surgeons, and facilities. There is disagreement among RNs and also interprofessional disagreement as to how certain surgical wounds should be classified. The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) Surgical Wound Classification Decision Tree can be used as an algorithm to assist in accurately classifying surgical wounds. This presentation will help infection preventionists, physicians, perioperative RNs, and other team members involved in surgical wounds classification.

Learning Objectives:

Sharon Van Wicklin

Senior Perioperative Practice Specialist
Association of periOperative Registered Nurses
Denver, Colorado

Sharon Van Wicklin has more than 40 years of experience as a perioperative nurse. Sharon received her BSN and MSN from Middle Tennessee State University. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and the Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society of Nursing. Sharon holds certification in operating room nursing, as an emeritus RN first assistant, as a retired plastic and reconstructive surgical nurse, and as a legal nurse consultant. She is currently pursuing a PhD in nursing through the University of Missouri. Sharon is a senior perioperative practice specialist for the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses. She is a member of the School of Nursing faculty of Middle Tennessee State University and the University of Phoenix. Her work as a legal expert witness involves reviewing medical records and testifying about the standard of perioperative nursing care.


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Darlene Carey

System Director Infection Prevention and Control
Gwinnett Medical Center
Lawrenceville, Georgia

Darlene Carey is currently a doctoral candidate and serves as the system director of infection prevention and control at Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville, Georgia. She also serves as the vice chair for APIC’s Practice Guidance Committee. Ms. Carey has developed numerous risk assessment tools and has presented these tools at national workshops on optimal utilization of risk assessments and identifying and mitigating infection risks for the GI lab. In keeping with her affectionate title of “Scope Czar” and her focus on endoscope reprocessing, she recently authored an article entitled “Two Teams, One Shared Goal”, collaborating with gastroenterology and infection prevention colleagues to become infection prevention champions! Ms. Carey continues to focus on patient safety and reducing risk by providing operational proficiency.


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3009 - Surgical Wound Classification: Why Can't We All Agree?

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