Pneumonia, urinary tract infection, bacteremia, and Clostridioides difficile infection following major head and neck free and pedicled flap surgeries

Tjoson Tjoa, Vinay K. Rathi, Neerav Goyal, Bharat B. Yarlagadda, Miriam B. Barshak, Debbie L. Rich, Kevin S. Emerick, Derrick T. Lin, Daniel G. Deschler, Marlene L. Durand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Medical postoperative infections (MPIs) are important causes of morbidity following major head and neck free and pedicled flap reconstruction, but the incidence, time of onset, and microbiology are not well characterized. Materials and methods: Medical records were reviewed of all head and neck flap surgeries performed 2009–2014 at an academic medical center. Postoperative pneumonia, urinary tract infection (UTI), bloodstream infection (BSI), Clostridioides difficile (CDI), and surgical site infections (SSI) were noted. Catheter-associated UTI (CAUTI), central line-associated BSI (CLABSI), and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) BSI were also evaluated. Results: Following 715 free (5 4 0) or pedicled (1 7 5) flap surgeries, 14.1% of patients developed ≥one MPI including pneumonia (10.6%), UTI (2.1%), BSI (0.7%), and CDI (2.4%). Onset was ≤7 days in 77%. The MPI incidence in free vs pedicled flaps was similar. By multivariate analysis, age ≥65 and clindamycin perioperative prophylaxis were associated with increased MPI risk, clean class surgery with decreased risk. The incidence of CAUTI (<1.0%), CLABSI (0.1%), and hospital-onset MRSA BSI (0.1%) was low. SSI rate (7.8% overall) was higher in patients who developed pneumonia (18.4 vs 6.6, p = 0.004). MPI cultures grew gram-negative bacilli or S. aureus in 75%. The length of stay was longer in patients who developed a MPI than those who did not (17.4 vs 10.4 days, p < 0.0001). Conclusions: One-seventh of major head and neck flap surgeries were complicated by MPIs, three-quarters of infections developed within 1 week postoperatively. Gram-negative bacilli and S. aureus were the predominant pathogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105541
JournalOral Oncology
Volume122
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oral Surgery
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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