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Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2006 Dec;27(12):1372-6. Epub 2006 Nov 22.

Effect of antimicrobial prophylaxis on the incidence of infections in clean surgical wounds in hospitals undergoing renovation.

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Department of Surgery, Surgery Service and Office of Nosocomial Infections Control, Saint Paul Hospital, School of Medicine, Universidad Catolica del Norte, Coquimbo, Chile.



To measure the effect of cephazolin prophylaxis on the rate of surgical site infection among patients with clean surgical wounds, categorized by risk group, in a hospital undergoing renovation.


Randomized, double-blind clinical trial.


Saint Paul General Hospital, Coquimbo, Chile, during a period when it was undergoing significant interior remodeling.


General surgery patients who received antibiotic prophylaxis before clean wound surgery between March 2003 and May 2004 and a matched control group of patients who did not receive such prophylaxis.


A total of 303 patients participated in the study. The rate of infection among patients with an American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) classification of 1 in the prophylaxis group was 7.3%, whereas among ASA 1 patients in a no-prophylaxis control group it was 10.3% (P=.40). In the prophylaxis group, the ASA 2 and ASA 3 patients combined had an infection rate of 10.5%, whereas in the no-prophylaxis group these patients had a rate of 30.0% (relative risk, 0.33 [95% confidence interval, 0.58-0.96]; P=.03). Both the ASA 2 and ASA 3 patients were protected from infection by prophylaxis; these patients had 1.7 and 2.2 times, respectively, more risk of developing a surgical site infection than did ASA 1 patients after a clean surgical procedure, but the ASA 2 and ASA 3 patients who did not receive prophylaxis had 4.3 and 4.8 times, respectively, greater risk of infection (relative risk, 0.91 [95% confidence interval, 0.83-0.99]; P=.02). Prophylaxis significantly reduced the rate of infection in the ASA 2 and ASA 3 groups.


We recommend the use of antimicrobial prophylaxis with cephalosporins in ASA 2 and ASA 3 patients undergoing clean wound surgery during a period when significant renovations are being performed in the hospital.

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