Skip to main content


Healthcare-associated (HA) bloodstream infections (BSI) secondary top surgical site infections: surveillance program across Quebec hospitals (2007 to 2010)

Article metrics

  • 866 Accesses

Introduction / objectives

To describe HA-BSI secondary to surgical site infections (SSI) in Quebec hospitals.


Acute care centers with ≥ 1000 admissions/year were invited to participate voluntarily and declare via a web portal all HA-BSIs secondary to a SSI between 2007 and 2010.The surveillance program also included outpatients and paediatric patients.


56 of the 89 eligible centers participated (67% of short-term hospital beds), 64 % of those beds were in teaching hospitals. Of the 7709 episodes of HA-BSIs, 874 (11 %) were secondary to a SSI. Gastrointestinal surgeries were, by far, the leading cause of BSIs (244 – 28%) followed by cardiac surgery (132 – 15%), and orthopaedic surgery (98 – 11%). Implants were present in 25 cases (19%). The majority of SSIs (496 -57%) were organ space infections. S. aureus was the organism most often isolated in 28% (274), followed by E. coli in 13% (130) of patients. Overall, 79% of patients were admitted on a general/specialised ward upon onset, compared to 15% in ICU, and 6% in ambulatory care. The mean time to infection was 21 days with a median of 10 days (median time to infection for cardiac compared to gastrointestinal surgery: 11 and 8 days respectively). 75% of BSIs occurred in teaching hospitals.


The Quebec surveillance program for HA-BSIs is a convenient way to survey the most severe SSIs, awaiting the development of a complete SSI surveillance program. Further analyses are needed to better understand the correlation between this targeted program and a complete SSI surveillance program.

Disclosure of interest

None declared.

Author information

Correspondence to V Blouin.

Rights and permissions

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article


  • Paediatric Patient
  • Median Time
  • Teaching Hospital
  • Care Center
  • Acute Care