Antibiotics Before Heart Surgery Prevent SSIs

A regimen of preoperative antibiotics for heart surgery patients administered right before surgery significantly decreases rates of surgical site infections, according to a study published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

Researchers evaluated 10 years of SSI data from the National Healthcare Safety Network for the study.

Of cardiac surgery patients who received a prophylactic regimen two or fewer hours before surgery, 8.1 percent contracted an SSI compared to the 13.9 percent of patients who received antibiotics 2 or more hours before the first incision. The overall SSI rate for the approximately 2,600 patients included in the study was 8.4 percent. 

Other factors significantly associated with surgical site infections included a five-day or longer preoperative hospital stay, falling under NHSN risk category 2 or 3 and being 60 or older.

Researchers concluded the timing of antibiotic administration may be more important that originally thought in improving quality of surgical care. 


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