Editorial Views  |   May 2017
Who Can Make Sense of the WHO Guidelines to Prevent Surgical Site Infection?
Author Notes
  • From the Department of Medical Sciences, Clinical Physiology (G.H.), and Department of Surgical Sciences, the Hedenstierna Laboratory (G.P., A.L.), Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden; and Department of Anaesthesiology, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark (C.S.M.).
  • Accepted for publication February 2, 2017.
    Accepted for publication February 2, 2017.×
  • Address correspondence to Dr. Hedenstierna: goran.hedenstierna@medsci.uu.se
Article Information
Editorial Views / Infectious Disease / Respiratory System / Quality Improvement
Editorial Views   |   May 2017
Who Can Make Sense of the WHO Guidelines to Prevent Surgical Site Infection?
Anesthesiology 5 2017, Vol.126, 771-773. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000001604
Anesthesiology 5 2017, Vol.126, 771-773. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000001604
RECENTLY, the WHO (World Health Organization) published guidelines regarding measures to reduce surgical site infection.1  The guidelines, based on a meta-analysis of the literature, conclude that any patient being anesthetized, intubated, and mechanically ventilated for surgery should receive 80% oxygen (O2) during anesthesia and, if feasible, for 2 to 6 h after surgery. The recommendations do not include pediatric patients and anesthesia administered without tracheal intubation, and note that uncertainties still remain and further research is needed. Despite these limitations, the recommendations are still surprising because they are not well founded, make a superficial analysis of potential negative effects of breathing 80% O2, and suggest that oxygen should be produced in-hospital without analyzing the costs, risks, and priorities this would entail in both developed and developing countries. These concerns will be briefly discussed in the following paragraphs.
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