Microbes have been known to exist in the environment since the beginning of time. Some microbes are as old as Earth itself. They are an inherent element of life. Microbes are found everywhere, deep inside the Earth’s crust, in the polar caps and in all bodies of water. They are also found in plants, animals, humans, and they reside in your clothes and hair. Microbes have played a part in shaping the different habitats across the globe, and have even helped mold the evolution of many life forms.
Surgical site infections (SSIs) have become a common type of undesired adverse effect for hospitalized patients. “It is estimated that 1 in 24 patients who undergo inpatient surgery in the US had a postoperative SSIs”.1 SSIs comprise more than one-third of all hospital-acquired infections. These infections cause longer hospitalizations for patients, resulting in longer recovery time. Some patients may have to stay in the hospital for up to 10 days after surgery, depending on the severity of the infection. The increase in length of hospital stay or rate of re-hospitalization impacts total costs dramatically. Additionally, the risk of postoperative death is, by majority, directly related to surgical site infections. “The estimated cost of SSI’s to hospitals is $7.4 billion, with 13,088 deaths per year”.2