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September 1991

Antibiotic Prophylaxis of Wound Infections in Skin Surgery: Is 4 Days Too Much?

Author Affiliations

Department of Surgery, RF-25 University of Washington School of Medicine Seattle, WA 98195

Arch Dermatol. 1991;127(9):1394-1395. doi:10.1001/archderm.1991.01680080130017

In the article published in this issue of the Archives, Bencini and colleagues1 report a large experience that demonstrates convincingly that prophylactic use of antibiotics can reduce the incidence of wound infection following the excision of skin lesions. The antibiotic regimens chosen for comparison differ from those often used and do not permit comparison with, or evaluation of, more commonly applied practices in surgical prophylaxis in the United States. Two thousand one hundred sixty-five patients scheduled to have excision of skin lesions were randomized to receive no antibiotics (group A); intramuscular cefazolin, 1 g every 12 hours, beginning after the procedure and continuing for 3 days (group B); 250 mg of topical cefazolin powder applied into the wound during the procedure only (group C); or intramuscular cefazolin, 1 g every 12 hours, started 2 days before the procedure and continued 2 days after the procedure (group D). The authors

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