Different Types of C-Section Wound Infections

Infection at the operative site is the most common complication of a cesarean delivery or C-section. There are several factors that increase the probability of infection in women such as obesity, diabetes, smoking, use of systemic corticosteroids, poor prenatal care, previous C-sections and so on. Receiving the right treatment at the earliest is very important as the infection may spread and cause problems with organs, skin, blood and local tissue. You should understand the type of infection for that and thorough wound documentation via wound EMR can be of great help. Let’s take a detailed look into the different types and appearances of infections after C-section.

A C-section wound infection basically takes two forms such as:

  • Wound Cellulitis – Cellulitis of the wound is generally caused by either staphylococcal or streptococcal bacteria. These strains are actually a part of the normal bacteria found on the skin. The infected tissue under the skin gets inflamed while the redness and swelling spread quickly from the surgical incision to the nearby skin outward. You will usually find the infected skin warm and tender to touch. Usually, the pus is not present in the incision itself.
  • Wound (Abdominal) Abscess – Wound (abdominal) abscess can be caused by the same bacteria as wound cellulitis and other bacteria. When the site of the surgical incision gets infected with the bacteria, it leads to redness, tenderness and swelling along the edges of the incision while pus collects in a tissue cavity. Wound abscesses ooze pus from the incision as well. Abscesses generally form at the uterine incision, scar tissue, ovaries and other tissue or any organs nearby when an infection is present after surgery. Bacteria-caused wound abscess can also lead to endometritis. This is an irritation of the uterine lining after a cesarean section, which causes pain, abnormal bleeding, discharge, swelling, fever and malaise.

How Wound EMR Helps in Treating Different Infections Effectively

When it comes to treatment, drainage is not typically necessary for patients with wound cellulitis, but not an actual incisional abscess. However, antibiotics with specific activity against staphylococci and streptococci must be administered. In the case of an incisional abscess, the wound must be opened and drained and the fascial layer should be examined. All purulent and necrotic material should be removed from the wound, and the wound irrigated with normal saline. Sterile dressing should be used and the dressing should be changed and the wound irrigated frequently.

Thus you can determine what type of treatment would be effective for a C-section wound infection only with comprehensive wound documentation, which includes details such as type of wound and exact location, partial or full thickness, wound size, any drainage and their description, pain and other specific information regarding the wound. Unlike general EMR, wound EMR has only wound-specific templates, which makes it easier to access such specific details. If the EMR is supported with a physician and nurse interface, it can enhance the communication further and make treatment available quickly and effectively. EMR supported on mobile devices helps wound care professionals to record the details at the bedside itself.