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J Infect Dev Ctries. 2014 Feb 13;8(2):193-201. doi: 10.3855/jidc.3076.

Antibiotic usage in surgical prophylaxis: a prospective surveillance of surgical wards at a tertiary hospital in Malaysia.

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Sarawak General Hospital, Sarawak, Malaysia.



The widespread and inappropriate use of broad-spectrum antibiotics in surgical prophylaxis has led to reduced treatment efficacy, increased healthcare costs, and antibiotic resistance. This study aimed to explore the adherence of antibiotic usage in surgical prophylaxis to the national antibiotic guideline and the incidences of surgical site infection (SSI).


A three-month prospective observational study has been conducted in the surgical wards of Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) using a standardized surveillance form. Each patient was reviewed for up to 30 days post-operatively to determine the occurrence of SSI.


A total of 87 patients were included within the study period. The majority of the cases were clean-contaminated wounds (60.9%). Most were hepatobiliary cases (37.9%), followed by colorectal cases (19.5%). The most preferred antibiotic used was cefoperazone (63.2%). The choices of antibiotics in 78.2% of the cases were consistent with the guideline. Around 80% of prophylactic antibiotics were given within one hour before operation and 27.6% were omitted from intraoperative re-dosing. Prophylactic antibiotics were discontinued within 24 hours post-operatively in 77% of the cases. Of those continued for > 24 hours, the majority (60%) were administered for unknown reasons. SSI was documented in 13.8% of the total cases studied. However, there was no significant association between choices of antibiotics and timing of surgical prophylaxis with SSI (p = 0.299 and p = 0.258 respectively).


Overall guideline adherence rate was more than 70%. Areas of non-concordance to the guideline require further investigation.

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