Review decision date: September 2014

Review decision: 

This guideline will shortly be checked to see if it needs updating, please register as a stakeholder to be informed about the decision.

Register as a stakeholder

Next review date: December 2016

The advice in the NICE guideline covers:

  • adults and children who are going to have a cut through the skin for an operation.

It does not specifically look at:

  • adults and children who are going to have an operation that does not involve a cut through the skin on the outside of the body
  • adults and children who are going to have procedures involving thintubes (called catheters) placed in blood vessels, tubes (called shunts) inserted into the body to divert fluid, thin flexible telescopes (called endoscopes) to view the inside of the body or metal pins used externally to treat broken bones.

This guideline was previously called surgical site infection: prevention and treatment of surgical site infection.

It updates and replaces wound care - debriding agents (TA24).

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) accreditation logo