MRSA in lower limb amputation and the role of antibiotic prophylaxis

Toby Richards, A. A. Pittathankel, R. Pursell, T. R. Magee, R. B. Galland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) colonisation is reported in 3-20% of vascular patients. Many develop infective complications. MRSA is associated with poor prognosis. Aim of the study is to assess MRSA in lower limb amputation and efficacy of antibiotic prophylaxis. Methods: Prospective study of lower limb amputation. MRSA screen and wound swabs were taken at operation. Antibiotic prophylaxis included teicoplanin (400 mg) 1 dose at operation. Results: Twenty-five patients underwent 33 primary amputations. At operation 15 legs (45%) were colonised with MRSA and 18 legs (58%) had active wound infection; MRSA (4) and other (14). Following surgery 3 patients died. Twenty-two legs (76%) had primary healing. Infection developed in 7 stumps (24%), MRSA (5) and Pseudomonas (2). Stump infection increased time to wound healing (p<0.0001). MRSA stump infection increased revision amputation (p=0.009) and duration of hospital stay (p<0.0074). MRSA wound infection at operation increased the risk of MRSA stump infection (p=0.007). Non-MRSA wound infection at operation was not associated with a worse outcome. No patient colonised with MRSA at operation developed postoperative MRSA stump infection. Conclusion: MRSA is more prevalent that previously reported. MRSA infection has a poor prognosis. Prophylaxis may be effective for patients colonised with MRSA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-41
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


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