Infection at the site of surgery is the second most common cause of hospital acquired infections. In January, 2003, the National Surgical Infection Prevention Project met to review various guidelines on antimicrobial prophylaxis (use of antibiotics to prevent infection). Several recommendations were made:
- The first dose of an antibiotic should be given within 60-120 minutes of making the surgical incision, depending on the type of antibiotic being used.
- In most but not all cases, antibiotics should be discontinued within 24 hours after the operation (Clinical Infectious Diseases, June 15, 2004: 38(12); 1706-1715).