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COVID-19 Policies & Information

Prevent Wound Infections

The best way to prevent infection following a surgery is to stay as clean as possible when caring for the wound. “The most important part of wound care is hand washing,” says

Jonathon K. Foley, MD, FACS, general surgeon at Saint Francis Medical Center. “It is so simple. Before touching or changing the wound, the patient or caregiver needs to always wash his or her hands.”

Patients also should stop smoking about four weeks before surgery. “Smoking impairs wound healing,” says

Foley_JonathonFoley. “So if a patient can stop smoking – at least during the period where the wound is actively healing – we’ll have better results and less wound infections.”

Most wounds need a new dressing at least once a day. Signs of infection can include increasing pain, redness that is spreading beyond the main wound area and drainage from a closed wound.

For more information call 573-331-3000.

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