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MINERVA ANESTESIOLOGICA

A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Anesthesiology, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care
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Minerva Anestesiologica 2015 January;81(1):76-91

Copyright © 2015 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Antimicrobial prophylaxis in minor and major surgery

Bassetti M. 1, Righi E. 1, Astilean A. 1, Corcione S. 2, Petrolo A. 2, Farina E. C. 3, De Rosa F. G. 2

1 Infectious Diseases Division, Santa Maria Misericordia Hospital, Udine, Italy; 2 Department of Medical Sciences, Infectious Diseases Clinic, University of Turin, Turin, Italy; 3 City of Science and Health, Department of General Surgery, Turin, Italy


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Surgical site infections (SSIs) are a frequent cause of morbidity following surgical procedures. Gram-positive cocci, particularly staphylococci, cause many of these infections, although Gram-negative organisms are also frequently involved. The risk of developing a SSI is associated with a number of factors, including aspects of the operative procedure itself, such as wound classification, and patient-related variables, such as preexisting medical conditions. Antimicrobial prophylaxis (AP) plays an important role in reducing SSIs, especially if patient-related risk factors for SSIs are present. The main components of antimicrobial prophylaxis are: timing, selection of drugs and patients, duration and costs. Compliance with these generally accepted preventive principles may lead to overall decreases in the incidence of these infections. Ideally the administration of the prophylactic agent should start within 30 minutes from the surgical incision. The duration of the AP should not exceed 24 hours for the majority of surgical procedures. The shortest effective period of prophylactic antimicrobial administration is not known and studies have demonstrated that post-surgical antibiotic administration is unnecessary. Furthermore, there were no proven benefits in multiple dose regimens when compared to single-dose regimens. The choice of an appropriate prophylactic antimicrobial agent should be based primarily on efficacy and safety. Broad spectrum antibiotics should be avoided due to the risk of promoting bacterial resistance. Cephalosporins are the most commonly used antibiotics in surgical prophylaxis; specifically, cefazolin or cefuroxime are mainly used in the prophylaxis regimens for cardio-thoracic surgery, vascular surgery, hip or knee arthroplasty surgery, neurosurgical procedures and gynecologic and obstetric procedures. A review of the prophylactic regimens regarding the main surgical procedures is presented.

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Cite this article as

Bassetti M, Righi E, Astilean A, Corcione S, Petrolo A, Farina EC, et al. Antimicrobial prophylaxis in minor and major surgery. Minerva Anestesiol 2015 January;81(1):76-91. 

Corresponding author e-mail

mattba@tin.it