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Teachable Moment
Less Is More
March 28, 2022

The Harms of Postoperative Antibiotic Prophylaxis: A Teachable Moment

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2Antimicrobial Stewardship Program, Sinai Health – University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 3Division of Infectious Diseases, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
JAMA Intern Med. 2022;182(5):545-546. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2022.0413

A man in his 70s with a medical history of coronary artery disease presented to the emergency department with fever and chills. The patient underwent a metatarsophalangeal arthrodesis for toe clawing 3 days prior and had been discharged the same day with a 14-day course of cephalexin for postoperative surgical site infection (SSI) prophylaxis. He presented on postoperative day 3 with frequent watery stools and abdominal pain. Admission vital signs were notable for a temperature of 39.4° C and blood pressure of 125/65 mm Hg.

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