Antimicrobial prophylaxis in surgery. Committee on Antimicrobial Agents, Canadian Infectious Disease Society.
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OBJECTIVE: To provide guidelines for antimicrobial prophylaxis on the basis of the type of surgical procedure. OPTIONS: Standard drug regimens for prophylaxis of infection in a variety of surgical procedures were considered, including a first-generation cephalosporin; an aminoglycoside in combination with metronidazole, clindamycin or erythromycin; a second-generation cephalosporin; and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. OUTCOMES: In order of importance: efficacy, side effects and cost. EVIDENCE: A MEDLINE search of articles published between January 1980 and December 1991. For clinical trial data, greatest emphasis was placed on randomized, double-blind studies using appropriate controls. VALUES: The Committee on Antimicrobial Agents of the Canadian Infectious Disease Society (CIDS) and two recognized experts (T.K.W. and O.D.R.) recommended antimicrobial regimens suitable for prophylaxis of infections in surgery. Whenever possible, recommendations were based on data from randomized controlled trials. BENEFITS, HARMS AND COSTS: Implementation of the guidelines is expected to reduce the incidence of postoperative infections, the inappropriate use of antibiotics and costs to hospitals. RECOMMENDATIONS: Antibiotic prophylaxis is recommended for operations with a high risk of postoperative wound infection or with a low risk of infection but significant consequences if infection occurs. These operations include clean-contaminated procedures and certain clean procedures. Drugs should be administered intravenously immediately before the operation. In colorectal operations oral administration also appears to be effective. A single dose is sufficient for most procedures. The regimen chosen depends on the pathogens usually associated with wound infection in a given operation, the serum half-life of the drugs, the antimicrobial susceptibility patterns in the local hospital and the cost of the drugs. VALIDATION: The guidelines were compared with others in standard textbooks of surgery and peer-reviewed articles. The guidelines were prepared and revised by the Committee on Antimicrobial Agents of the CIDS. They were then reviewed and revised further by the Council of the CIDS. SPONSOR: The CIDS was solely responsible for developing, funding and endorsing these guidelines.
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