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J Cardiovasc Surg (Torino). 1986 Nov-Dec;27(6):662-6.

Wound colonisation following cardiac surgery. Reduction by adjuvant use of preincisional, presternal antibiotic infiltration: a double blind prospective randomised study.


In a double blind, prospective, randomised study of 100 patients undergoing elective cardiac surgery, a significant (p less than 0.01) reduction in wound colonisation, defined as positive culture of any wound discharge irrespective of wound appearance, occurred in those receiving preincisional presternal antibiotic infiltration (2%) as compared to a control group who received a similar volume of normal saline by the same route (24%). Both groups received, in addition, the same conventional intravenous regimen of broad spectrum antibiotic. A comparable concurrent group of patients, not entered into the study, demonstrated a wound colonisation rate similar to the trial control group (22%), thus excluding an adverse bias from the control saline infiltration. Analysis of control cases demonstrated a significant (p less than 0.001) discriminant effect in the degree of preoperative haemodilution with haematocrit falling on bypass by a mean of 25% in those who developed wound colonisation as compared to 13% in those who did not.

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