A survey of practice and opinions on the use of topical antibiotics to prevent surgical site infection: More confusion than consensus

Charlotte Cooper, Carolyne Horner, Gavin Barlow, Jan Stryja, Kylie Sandy-Hodgetts, Tracey Guise, Hilary Humphreys

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3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Surgical site infection (SSI) is one of the most common causes of healthcare-associated infection. Although the use of topical antibiotics to prevent SSI is not recommended by current guidelines, published studies document conflicting results and conclusions. Objectives: The objectives of this survey were to: (i) determine the extent of the use of topical antibiotics to prevent SSI in clinical practice; and (ii) gather the opinions of healthcare professionals most likely to be involved in their use. Methods: A questionnaire was circulated to members of BSAC and the European Wound Management Association (EWMA). Results: The questionnaire received 160 responses from a variety of healthcare professionals around the world. Most respondents (70%) did not have guidelines for the use of topical antibiotics for the prevention of SSI in their institution; if present, local guidance was based on national guidelines (20/31, 65%). Most respondents did not use or recommend topical antibiotics to prevent SSI; of those that did, gentamicin collagen sponges were most commonly used (24/96 responses, 25%). Over half of the surgeons (18/33, 55%) who responded to the survey did not use topical antibiotics for the prevention of SSI but, when used, contaminated surgery (8/33, 24%) was the most commonly stated indication. Conclusions: There are diverse opinions and practices among healthcare professionals about the use of topical antibiotics for the prevention of SSI. This considerable, and possibly inappropriate, variation in clinical practice needs to be addressed as part of antibiotic stewardship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1978-1983
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Volume73
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018

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