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Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2003 Jan;24(1):13-6.

Improvement of intraoperative antibiotic prophylaxis in prolonged cardiac surgery by automated alerts in the operating room.

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  • 1Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and the CDC Eastern Massachusetts Prevention Epicenter, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the impact of an automated intraoperative alert to redose prophylactic antibiotics in prolonged cardiac operations.

DESIGN:

Randomized, controlled, evaluator-blinded trial.

SETTING:

University-affiliated hospital.

PATIENTS:

Patients undergoing cardiac surgery that lasted more than 4 hours after the preoperative administration of cefazolin, unless they were receiving therapeutic antibiotics at the time of surgery.

INTERVENTION:

Randomization to an audible and visual reminder on the operating room computer console at 225 minutes after the administration of preoperative antibiotics (reminder group, n = 137) or control (n = 136). After another 30 minutes, the circulating nurse was required to indicate whether a follow-up dose of antibiotics had been administered.

RESULTS:

Intraoperative redosing was significantly more frequent in the reminder group (93 of 137; 68%) than in the control group (55 of 136; 40%) (adjusted odds ratio, 3.31; 95% confidence interval, 1.97 to 5.56; P < .0001). The impact of the reminder was even greater when compared with the 6 months preceding the study period (129 of 480; 27%; P < .001), suggesting some spillover effect on the control group. Redosing was formally declined for 19 of the 44 patients in the reminder group without redosing. The rate of surgical-site infection in the reminder group (5 of 137; 4%) was similar to that in the control group (8 of 136; 6%; P = .42), but significantly lower than that in the pre-study period (48 of 480; 10%; P = .02).

CONCLUSION:

The use of an automatic reminder system in the operating room improved compliance with guidelines on perioperative antibiotic prophylaxis.

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