Postoperative Antiobiotic Timing
Adequate levels of antibiotic medication must be maintained in the body during and immediately after high-risk (for infection) surgeries to prevent surgical site infection. However, antibiotics given to prevent infection should be discontinued after 24 hours according to an advisory statement in The American Journal of Surgery (April, 2005; 189(4): 395-404).
If antibiotics are continued past 24 hours, normal, healthy bacteria in the body may be destroyed, which can lead to the over-growth of unhealthy microorganisms (harmful bacteria and yeast) and super infection (a new infection that may not respond to antibiotics). However, antibiotics may need to be continued for certain individuals, such as those with weakened immune systems or with signs of existing infection.
The most recent report (4th Qtr., 2010) shows 93% of UAMS’ surgical patients had preventive antibiotics administered according to guidelines compared with the national average of 91% and the average for University Healthsystem Consortium of 96%.