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March 1970

Prevention of Likely Wound Infections: Prophylactic Closed Antibiotic-Detergent Irrigation

Author Affiliations

Des Moines, Iowa
From the Department of Surgery, Veterans Administration Hospital, Des Moines, Iowa.

Arch Surg. 1970;100(3):229-231. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1970.01340210005002

Wound infections continue to plague the surgeon, despite the development of antibiotics and improved aseptic technique. The development of infection in clean surgical wounds depends upon many factors, not the least being the presence of pathogenic bacteria. Probably wound infection is the result of the interaction of many local environmental factors such as the blood supply, modified by the trauma of surgery, the general condition of the patient, the contamination of the ambient air, the suture material used, and surgical skill. Since the basis of all wound infection is bacteria, infection could theoretically be eliminated if the organisms could be totally eradicated.

Systemic prophylactic antibiotics have fallen into disrepute and are used by most surgeons only in selected circumstances. In presenting this paper, the literature has been reviewed and a case is presented in order to emphasize the efficacy of topical antibiotic detergent irrigation in the prevention of wound infection

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