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September 1962

Postoperative Wound Infection: A Controlled Study of Antibiotic Prophylaxis

Author Affiliations

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Hospital das Clínicas, University of Bahia.

Arch Surg. 1962;85(3):456-459. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1962.01310030104015

There have been several recent reports condemning the unnecessary prophylactic use of antibiotics in the majority of surgical operations, particularly in the so-called clean cases.1-4 They have shown that these drugs do not prevent postoperative infections and that the incidence of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria increases.2,4 However, 2 aspects pertaining to this subject deserve further consideration. (1) The incidence of infection after a surgical procedure varies a great deal from one hospital to another.5-9 (2) The bacterial strains commonly found in a hospital environment might differ from one hospital to another. These facts explain, at least in part, the variability of incidence and severity of hospital-acquired infections found in different reports.

Therefore, it seemed important both to observe the rate of wound infection in a general hospital such as in Salvador, Bahia (Brazil), and to perform a controlled clinical study on the effect of the prophylactic use

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