Preoperative Antibiotic Timing
Surgical site infections affect approximately 375,000 persons per year according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report. Numerous factors such as age and general health status of persons undergoing surgery can affect rates of infection at any given hospital.
According to the Joint Commission, patients undergoing surgical procedures such as heart, hip, colon, and vascular surgeries should receive an antibiotic within one hour prior to the incision being made to prevent surgical site infection.
While the ideal timing of antibiotic administration for every surgical procedure has not been studied, the one-hour timing for antibiotics is recommended by the National Surgical Care Improvement Project team as the standard for surgical procedures that require preventive antibiotic therapy.
Because there are numerous drug-resistant bacteria today, it is important to use antibiotics sparingly. The goal for antibiotic use with surgical procedures is to prevent surgical site infections and thereby reduce overall antibiotic use.
The most recent report (4th Qtr., 2010) shows 93% percent of UAMS’s surgical patients received antibiotics within one hour prior to the surgical incision being made, compared with the national average of 93% and the average for University Healthsystem Consortium of 97%.