A male anaesthetist speaking to a young male patient

Surgical Site Infection Risk Reduction

We are on a mission to protect patients from preventable surgical site infections (SSIs).

Up to 5% of patients undergoing surgery will experience the negative consequences of an SSI, including extended length of stay in hospital and impacted quality of life.1

However, around 60% of SSIs are estimated to be preventable with the use of evidence-based measures.21-23

We are committed to working as a partner in healthcare, using knowledge-based best practices and evidence-based solutions grounded in breakthrough science to reduce the risk of SSIs in your facility.

Because every patient is part of our family.

Infographic showing statistics on impact of surgical site infections

Every touch point matters

There are many opportunities through the patient’s surgical journey to make small changes that can make a big difference to clinical outcomes. We have a wide range of solutions to support clinicians in their mission to protect patients from preventable surgical site infections.

Click each hotspot to learn more

Patient assessment

Opportunity to inform and prepare the patient for surgery.

Instrument preparation

Opportunity to monitor and check the sterility of instrumentation.

Patient preparation

Opportunity to prepare the patient's skin for surgery.


First opportunity to prevent inadvertent perioperative hypothermia.

Temperature monitoring

Opportunity to monitor core temperature continuously throughout surgery.

Maintaining normothermia

Opportunity to protect patient from complications of perioperative hypothermia.


Opportunity to prepare healthcare workers, instruments and surgical environment, to exclude microorganisms from the surgical field.


Opportunity to reduce skin recolonisation during surgery and eliminate microorganisms that could lead to SSI.

Incision management

Opportunity for successful wound healing and monitoring.

Patient information

Opportunity to empower the patient to improve their quality of life.

  • A surgeon and assistant operating on a patient

    Understanding Surgical Site Infections

    This online module will help you understand the sources and implications of SSIs to your patients.
    Register today to receive your exclusive access code and to explore everything the 3M Health Care Academy has to offer in supporting your continued professional development.


  • Infographic image showing preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative icons

    Opportunities to Reduce Risk

    This easy to use module contains evidence, guidelines and solutions to help identify opportunities to reduce the risk of SSIs in your surgical patients throughout their perioperative journey.


  • Sterilization Monitoring

    An undetected sterilization process failure can put patients and staff of health care facilities at risk. There are four opportunities to monitor sterility of surgical instruments.

    Learn more

  • Surgical Preparation

    There are several opportunities to prepare the patient’s skin for surgery.

    Body washing, hair removal, nasal decolonization, skin preps and prevention of skin recolonization are all part of the patient preparation process.

    Learn more

  • Temperature Management

    Studies show that warming patients by maintaining a core temperature of 36ºC or higher, helps to improve outcomes by reducing the complications often associated with inadvertent hypothermia.

    Learn more

  • Incision Management

    Poor incision healing can lead to Surgical Site Complications (SSCs) such as surgical site infection (SSI), dehiscence, haematoma and seroma. It is important to choose the correct dressing or therapy for optimum wound healing.

    Learn more

  • A central sterilisation person pushes the instrument trolley into the sterilizer

    Sterilization Monitoring

    Surgical site infections have been attributed to incompletely processed instruments.16

    An undetected sterilization process failure can put patients at risk.

    3M offers four opportunities to provide assurance, including equipment monitoring, load monitoring, internal and external pack monitoring.

    We also have a comprehensive endoscopy monitoring solution.

    Download Sterilization Infographic

  • A surgeon making an incision

    Surgical Preparation

      Pre-operative showering, hair removal and nasal decolonization are recommended as part of the patient preparation process.6-9

      3M has a range of surgical clippers with single use blades, which are recommended if hair has to be removed.6-13

      Ensure a sterile field6,7 with a selection of 3M surgical drapes, gowns, masks and respirators for every clinical situation.

      Disinfect skin using an alcohol-based antiseptic solution.6-11,13

      Guidelines recommend if an incise drape is used, it should be iodophor impregnated.1,3 Create a chemical and physical barrier around the incision site with a 3M™ Ioban™ 2 Antimicrobial Incise Drape to reduce skin recolonisation and therefore the risk of SSI.14,15

      OR staff can complete final checks on instrument sterility using a 3M™ Comply™ SteriGage™ Chemical Indicator.

      3M Ioban 2
      3M Ioban 2 Clinical Summary

  • A nurse checks on a patient laying in a hospital bed

    Temperature Management

      Unintended hypothermia is easily preventable. Studies show that warming patients by maintaining a core temperature of 36ºC or higher, helps to improve outcomes by reducing the frequency of complications often associated with inadvertent hypothermia. The consequences of hypothermia include higher mortality rates, longer hospital stays and an increased rate of wound infection.17

      3M is dedicated to providing patient warming solutions that help to enhance patient recovery.

      Why Bair Hugger?
      A trusted, proven solution - we’ve been helping clinicians maintain normothermia in surgical patients for over 30 years, with unrivalled clinical evidence to support the use of Bair Hugger patient warming solutions.
      Find out why Bair Hugger is designed to be different

      What’s New?
      At 3M, we provide more than products, we work as a partner with healthcare professionals, providing high quality research and educational tools to help you choose the right solution to maintain normothermia for your surgical patients.

      Explore and download the latest resources here

  • A surgeon applies a clear wound dressing to a surgical incision

    Incision Management

    Poor incision healing can lead to Surgical Site Complications (SSCs) such as surgical site infection (SSI), dehiscence, haematoma and seroma. Each of these complications can lead to delayed healing, increased length of stay, readmissions, reoperation and increased morbidity and mortality.24

    Surgical incisions should be covered with an appropriate interactive dressing at the end of the operation.8 Close, protect and cover with 3M’s post operative care system, including 3M™ Tegaderm Absorbent Clear Acrylic Dressings.

Contact 3M for a consultation

3M is dedicated to partnering with you to help reduce SSIs, as well as increasing efficiency, effectiveness and patient comfort. Contact us today to find out how we can meet your needs.


    1. Smyth ET et al. (2008) Four Country Healthcare Associated Infection Prevalence Survey 2006: Overview of the results. Journal of Hospital Infection; 69:230–48.
    2. Kirkland et al (1999) The impact of surgical-site infections in the 1990s: attributable mortality, excess length of hospitalization, and extra costs. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol; 20(11): 725–730.
    3. Coello R, et al (2005) Adverse impact of surgical site infections in English hospitals J. Hosp. Infect 60: 93–103.
    4. Whitehouse et al. (2002) The impact of surgical-site infections following orthopedic surgery at a community hospital and a university hospital: adverse quality of life, excess length of stay, and extra cost. Infect Control
    5. Plowman R, Graves N, Griffin M et al (1999) The socio-economic burden of hospital acquired infection. London: Public Health. Laboratory Service.
    6. NICE (2019) Surgical site infections: prevention and treatment, Clinical guideline [NG125] Published April 2019.
    7. RKI (2018) Prevention of postoperative wound infections: Commission recommendation for hospital hygiene and infection prevention (KRINKO) at Robert Koch Institute, Published April 2018.
    8. WHO (2018) Global guidelines for the prevention of surgical site infection, second edition. Geneva: World Health Organization. Published 2018.
    9. WIP (2011) Prevention of post-operative wound infections, Work-group Infection Prevention. Published May 2006, Last updated May 2011
    10. CDC (2017) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Guideline for the Prevention of Surgical Site Infection. Published August 2017
    11. AOS (2016) American College of Surgeons and Surgical Infection Society: Surgical Site Infection Guidelines. Updated 2016
    12. SF2H (2013) Gestion préopératoire du risque infection. Published October 2013.
    13. NASIC (2018) National Association of Specialists on İnfection Control (Russian Federation). Clinical Recommendations. Surgical Site Infections Prophylaxis. Published 2018.
    14. Yoshimura et al. Plastic iodophor drape during liver surgery operative use of the iodophor impregnated adhesive drape to prevent wound infection during high risk surgery. World J. Surgery. 2003; 27:685-688.
    15. Bejko et al. Comparison of efficacy and cost of iodine impregnated drape vs. standard drape in cardiac surgery:Study in 5100 patients. J Cardiovasc Trans. Res. 2015;8:431-437.
    16. Dancer, S.J., Stewart, M., Coulombe, C., et al., Surgical site infection linked to contaminated surgical instruments, Journal of Hospital Infection, 2012;81(4):231-238.
    17. Sessler, DI. Perioperative Heat Balance. Anesth. 2000; 92: 578–596.
    18. AHSN Network (2019) National wound care strategy programme 2018/19 https://www.ahsnnetwork.com/about-academic-health-science-networks/national-programmes-priorities/national-wound-care-strategy-programme: accessed 30th March 2020
    19. 3M data on file. EM-05-014692. EM-05-014725.
    20. 3M data on file. EM-05-014684.
    21. Meeks DW, Lally KP, Carrick MM et al. Compliance with guidelines to prevent surgical site infections: As simple as 1-2-3? Am J Surg 2011; 201(1):76–83.
    22. Umscheid CA, Mitchell MD, Doshi JA et al. Estimating the proportion of healthcare-associated infections that are reasonably preventable and the related mortality and costs. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiology 2011; 32(2):101–114.
    23. Anderson, Deverick J., et al. Strategies to Prevent Surgical Site Infections in Acute Care Hospitals: 2014 Update. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. 2014; 35(6): 605–627.
    24. World Union of Wound Healing Societies [WUWHS], Closed surgical incision management: understanding the role of NPWT, 2016.

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