Preoperative prophylactic cephalothin fails to control septic complications of colorectal operations: Results of controlled clinical trial. A veterans administration cooperative study

Robert E. Condon, John G. Bartlett, Ronald Lee Nichols, William J. Schulte, Sherwood L. Gorbach, Shigeru Ochi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Data obtained from a survey of the membership of the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract and the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons indicated that concomitant administration of oral neomycin-erythromycin base and systemic cephalothin, together with mechanical colon cleansing, was the most popular method of colon preparation. We designed a prospective double blind clinical trial to compare administration of intravenous cephalothin, oral neomycin-erythromycin base, and the combination of both the intravenous and oral antibiotics. Intake of patients to the intravenous cephalothin group was stopped because the data indicated that this method of prophylaxis resulted in significantly higher numbers of septic complications. The incidence of wound infection was 30 per cent and the overall incidence of septic complications was 39 per cent in patients receiving only intravenous cephalothin combined with mechanical colon cleansing. The incidence of wound infection and the overall incidence of septic complications was only 6 per cent in the comparison group, and the differences are highly significant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-74
Number of pages7
JournalThe American Journal of Surgery
Volume137
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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