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A Journal on Cardiac, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery

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The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2005 February;46(1):37-41

language: English

MRSA in lower limb amputation and the role of antibiotic prophylaxis

Richards T., Pittathankel A. A., Pursell R., Magee T. R., Galland R. B.

Vascular Unit Department of Surgery Royal Berkshire Hospital, London, UK


Aim. Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) colonisation is reported in 3-20% of vascular patients. Many develop infective complications. MRSA is associated with poor prognosis. Aim of the study is to assess MRSA in lower limb amputation and efficacy of antibiotic prophylaxis.
Methods. Prospective study of lower limb amputation. MRSA screen and wound swabs were taken at operation. Antibiotic prophylaxis included teicoplanin (400 mg) 1 dose at operation.
Results. Twenty-five patients underwent 33 primary amputations. At operation 15 legs (45%) were colonised with MRSA and 18 legs (58%) had active wound infection; MRSA (4) and other (14). Following surgery 3 patients died. Twenty-two legs (76%) had primary healing. Infection developed in 7 stumps (24%), MRSA (5) and Pseudomonas (2). Stump infection increased time to wound healing (p<0.0001). MRSA stump infection increased revision amputation (p=0.009) and duration of hospital stay (p<0.0074). MRSA wound infection at operation increased the risk of MRSA stump infection (p=0.007). Non-MRSA wound infection at operation was not associated with a worse outcome. No patient colonised with MRSA at operation developed postoperative MRSA stump infection.
Conclusion. MRSA is more prevalent that previously reported. MRSA infection has a poor prognosis. Prophylaxis may be effective for patients colonised with MRSA.

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