Fletcher Allen, a Vermont university hospital and medical center, serves all of
Vermont and the northern New York region. Located in Burlington, Fletcher Allen is a regional, academic healthcare center and teaching hospital in alliance with the University of Vermont.
Orthopedic Infection Prevention
What Referring Providers Need to Know
Preventing infections is a priority for Fletcher Allen. University of Vermont Medical Group Orthopedics providers work closely with the Infection Prevention team to provide the highest quality, safest care.
We are currently screening the following high-risk groups of total joint replacement patients:
- health care workers
- patients with a history of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus/ Methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA/MSSA)
- patients who have lived or had close contact with a family member with MRSA or MSSA
- patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes
- patients on immunosuppressive therapy
- immuno-compromised patients (hepatitis, HIV)
Patients are screened within six weeks of surgery. If they test positive for either MRSA or MSSA, antibiotic nasal ointment and daily chlorhexidine baths are prescribed for five days before surgery. MRSA-positive patients will also have their pre-operative prophylactic antibiotic changed to vancomycin, which is more effective in treating MRSA.
Our goal is to begin screening all total joint replacement patients for MRSA/MSSA during the summer of 2011.
Pre-surgical dental preventive check-up required
Patients who have ongoing inflammation of their gums are at higher risk for developing infections following joint replacement surgery. At Fletcher Allen, patients who are having joint replacement surgery are required to have a preventive dental examination before their procedure.
Optimizing the care of diabetes patients
Patients with diabetes are at higher risk for developing infections. We identify patients with diabetes early on in the process, and work as a team to minimize their risk of developing an infection.
Minimally invasive and small incision surgery
We offer the latest, minimally invasive techniques for total knee and total hip replacement. These techniques are associated with less discomfort, less blood loss, and a lower risk of complications.
Help patients reduce their risk of infection
Please share this information with your patients. Here’s what they can do to help reduce their risk of infections:
- Lose weight. Higher body mass index (BMI) is associated with an increased risk of infections. Encourage your overweight patients to begin a weight loss regimen before total joint replacement surgery.
- Diabetes patients need to practice good glucose management. Patients with an HgbA1c higher than 7 are at increased risk for developing infections, so it’s important for patients with diabetes to carefully monitor and regulate their glucose levels.
- Follow instructions for pre-surgical scrubs. Please encourage your patients to follow instructions for their multi-day scrubs before surgery.
For more information, visit, view the Orthopedic Quality of Care Reports.