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Invited Commentary
August 2015

Erythromycin Use Before Induction of General Endotracheal Anesthesia

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Esophageal Diseases, Department of Surgery, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA Surg. 2015;150(8):738. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.0327

Czarnetzki and colleagues1 conducted a single-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial in 132 patients who underwent emergent surgery for trauma or conditions such as appendicitis and cholecystitis. The authors hypothesized that erythromycin given intravenously 15 minutes before intubation decreases the volume of gastric contents, potentially decreasing the risk for aspiration, by creating a clear stomach (<40 mL of liquids and no solid food as determined by endoscopy). Their hypothesis proved true for patients undergoing emergent surgery but not in the trauma population.

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