[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
October 1977

Wound Infection and Topical Antibiotics: The Surgeon's Dilemma

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of California Medical Center, San Diego School of Medicine.

Arch Surg. 1977;112(10):1240-1244. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1977.01370100094021

• The topical use of antibiotics in surgical wounds is critically reviewed and analyzed. Thirteen experimental and 19 clinical reports are included in this review. Prospective and retrospective clinical studies have been separated. The analysis evaluated clean vs contaminated/dirty wounds, as well as the effects of various antibiotics and combinations. The conclusion reached on the basis of the experimental and clinical data is that the application of carefully selected topical antibiotics to surgical wounds, particularly those that represent a high risk for the development of wound infection, can be expected to diminish the incidence of this complication in a significant fashion.

(Arch Surg 112:1240-1244, 1977)