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Australas Med J. 2012;5(10):534-40. doi: 10.4066/AMJ.2012.1312. Epub 2012 Oct 31.

Surgeons' adherence to guidelines for surgical antimicrobial prophylaxis - a review.

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1
Department of Pharmacy, Penang Hospital, Penang, Malaysia.

Abstract

Surgical site infections are the most common nosocomial infection among surgical patients. Patients who experience surgical site infections are associated with prolonged hospital stay, rehospitalisation, increased morbidity and mortality, and costs. Consequently, surgical antimicrobial prophylaxis (SAP), which is a very brief course of antibiotic given just before the surgery, has been introduced to prevent the occurrence of surgical site infections. The efficacy of SAP depends on several factors, including selection of appropriate antibiotic, timing of administration, dosage, duration of prophylaxis and route of administration. In many institutions around the globe, evidence-based guidelines have been developed to advance the proper use of SAP. This paper aims to review the studies on surgeons' adherence to SAP guidelines and factors influencing their adherence. A wide variation of overall compliance towards SAP guidelines was noted, ranging from 0% to 71.9%. The misuses of prophylactic antibiotics are commonly seen, particularly inappropriate choice and prolonged duration of administration. Lack of awareness of the available SAP guidelines, influence of initial training, personal preference and influence from colleagues were among the factors which hindered the surgeons' adherence to SAP guidelines. Immediate actions are needed to improve the adherence rate as inappropriate use of SAP can lead to the emergence of a strain of resistant bacteria resulting in a number of costs to the healthcare system. Corrective measures to improve SAP adherence include development of guidelines, education and effective dissemination of guidelines to targeted surgeons and routine audit of antibiotic utilisation by a dedicated infection control team.

KEYWORDS:

Surgeon; adherence; antibiotic; compliance; surgical antimicrobial prophylaxis

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