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May 1970

Topical Antibiotic Prophylaxis in Contaminated Wounds: Experimental Evaluation

Author Affiliations

From the departments of surgery (Dr. Glotzer and Mr. Goodman) and pathology, (Dr. Geronimus), Beth Israel Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Arch Surg. 1970;100(5):589-593. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1970.01340230055012

Antibiotic therapy, which has so revolutionized the treatment of established bacterial infections, has not significantly altered the incidence of postoperative wound sepsis. In theory, the surgical wound should present an ideal situation for preventative antibiotic treatment, since bacterial contamination is frequently as a small inoculum and occurs at a known time.1 Prophylactic antibiotics given systemically have often been ineffective2-8 and additionally carry the hazards of allergic complications and harmful alterations of the patient's indigenous flora. On the other hand, antibiotics administered locally for prophylaxis have rather consistently been effective in both experimental9-14 and clinical studies.15-20 If the agents are properly chosen, the use of this method can be beneficial and yet obviate the hazards of systemic antibiotic therapy. In the present study, such a regimen has been subjected to rigorous testing using an experimental wound infection in guinea pigs as a model.

Methods  Albino guinea pigs

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