Infections after surgical procedures (operations) can cause pain, poor wound healing, need for further treatment including antibiotics, longer hospital stays, and increased health care costs. Postoperative infections may cause severe problems, including failure of the surgical procedure, other surgical complications, sepsis, organ failure, and even death. Some persons are at higher risk of developing postoperative infections than others. Ways to try to prevent these types of infections include giving antibiotics before a procedure, when appropriate; making sure the patient is in the best condition possible before elective surgery; using an antiseptic solution to "prep" the area around a surgical incision; maintaining sterility (no bacteria or other organisms, such as viruses or parasites) of the surgical area (also called the "surgical field") and operating tools; and having operating room staff wear clean scrub clothes, hats, and masks. The June 23/30, 2010, issue of JAMA contains an article evaluating measures designed to reduce the risk of infections that occur after surgical procedures.