Antibiotic Prophylaxis Before Cardiac Surgery Prevent Infections, New Research Says

The latest study published in the journal of infection control and hospital epidemiology has shown that pre-operative "Antimicrobial prophylaxis and cardiac surgery"administration of certain antibiotics could significantly diminish the risk of surgical site infections (SSIs).

“Antimicrobial prophylaxis can reduce the risk of SSIs following many operations, however that efficacy diminishes or disappears if antibiotics are given either too early or after incision,” said Renato Finkelstein, MD, lead author of the study. “Despite the general acceptance of this concept in guidelines, wide variations in preoperative antibiotic administration practices have been reported.”

The timing of antibiotic administration was crucial as the probability of SSIs was least among those patients who received antibiotic prophylaxis over a specified and optimized time period (two hours before the start of cardiac surgery).

Table 1: SSIs among two different group of patients undergoing cardiac surgery

Number of patients Antibiotic timing SSIs (%) Comments
2,637 Two hours before the start of cardiac surgery 8.3 Lower
101 At different timings 13.9 Higher

“Our infection control program demonstrates the positive collaboration surgeons and infection control personnel can have to improve patient safety and reduce the risk of postsurgical infection,” said Finkelstein.

Source: Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America

Reference: Tania Mashiach, Yaron Bar-El, Zvi Adler, Victor Kertzman, Oved Cohen, Simcha Milo. “Effect of Preoperative Antibiotic Prophylaxis on Surgical Site Infections Complicating Cardiac Surgery.” Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 35:1 (January 2014).