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February 1976

Nosocomial Infections in Surgical Patients: Observations on Effects of Prophylactic Antibiotics

Author Affiliations

From the Epidemiology Unit, Channing Laboratory, Boston City Hospital and the Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston. Dr Finland is a Distinguished Physician, US Veterans Administration. Dr McGowan is now with Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta.

Arch Surg. 1976;111(2):143-145. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1976.01360200049008

• In a "spot survey" to determine prevalence of nosocomial infections in the Surgical Services of Boston City Hospital in January 1972, the use of antibiotics prophylactically did not significantly affect the occurrence of infections either in patients who had undergone surgery or in those who had not at the time of the survey. Among both groups, whether they had acquired infections or not, the use of antibiotics for prophylaxis did not affect the duration of hospitalization up to the time of the survey. In another study (August through October 1971) of the incidence of infections among patients admitted to the Orthopedic Service of the same hospital, the incidence of infections was the same in patients who received antibiotics prophylactically and in those who did not receive any during their period of hospitalization.

(Arch Surg 111:143-145, 1976)

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