J&J partners with Health First Europe to highlight unmet needs in the prevention of surgical site infections

surgery room

Health First Europe (HFE), a non-profit, non-commercial alliance of patients, healthcare workers, academics, healthcare experts and the medical technology industry today held a virtual roundtable to launch a new Insight Report titled “Identifying the gaps between evidence and practice in the prevention of surgical site infections.” This report was developed with the support of an unconditional sponsorship from Johnson & Johnson and Becton Dickinson. View the press release here.

Surgical Site Infections (SSIs), a type of hospital acquired infection, occur within 30 days following a surgical procedure. In Europe, SSIs affect more than 500,000 people per year costing up to 19 billion Euros.ii  Patients who contract SSIs are more than twice as likely to be hospitalized in an intensive care unit and twice as likely to die.iii  The good news is that SSIs are largely avoidable and up to 50% can generally be prevented through the successful implementation of clinical practice guidelines.

The Report highlights 5 key policy calls to action that would reduce the incidence of SSIs in Europe:HFE Insight Report image

  • Creating a European Framework on healthcare-associated infections (HAI) prevention and control
  • Harmonizing evidence-based guidelines in line with the WHO official guidelines
  • Expanding ECDC’s role to ensure observation, surveillance and data gathering and communicate current and emerging threats
  • Facilitating guidelines implementation and adherence
  • Developing a European curriculum for infection prevention

The launch roundtable brought together regional and national policy stakeholders from across Europe, including EU MEPs István Ujhelyi (S&D, Hungary) and Dr Roberto Bertollini (HFE President), to discuss and debate the prevention of infections in the surgical care pathway and how to tackle antimicrobial resistance. Click here to view the full list of attendees.

Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) focus on SSIs today is grounded in more than 130 years of heritage. From our beginning, J&J has been a pioneer in antiseptic surgery:

  • In 1887, J&J started manufacturing sterile sutures, surgical dressings, cotton and gauze. J&J’s mass production of sterile sutures ushered in the widespread practice of modern antiseptic surgery, dramatically raising survival rates.
  • During World War I, where battlefield injuries were often made worse due to infections brought on by muddy trench warfare, J&J stepped in to mass-produce a new antiseptic wound treatment, called the Carrel-Dakin system, helping to reduce infections and the need for amputations.

You can learn more about J&J’s long history of fighting infectious disease here.


i European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Healthcare-associated infections Image. Accessed November 2020
ii Stop Infections After Surgery. WHO Infographic. World Health Organization 2016
iii WHO, Guidelines for Safe Surgery 2009: Safe Surgery Saves Lives, PDF. Accessed November 2020.