One pre-surgery antibiotic dose recommended

antibioticsCHICAGO (Reuters) - One dose of an antibiotic just before surgery is as good as several spread over 24 hours to fight infections at the operation site, saving money and easing fears about bacterial resistance, a study said on Monday.

While guidelines in recent years have promoted the one-dose concept as the most effective, many surgeons have continued to use a broader approach, said the report from Hospital Sao Francisco, in Ribeirao Preto, Brazil.

Doctors there said they examined infection rates for more than 12,000 patients who had surgery in 2002 and 2003, roughly half of them after a one-dose protocol using a narrow-spectrum antibiotic was begun.

The one-dose method "did not lead to an increase in rates of surgical site infection," said the report published in the Archives of Surgery.

"In this era of restricted hospital budgets and increased bacterial resistance, one-dose prophylaxis may provide a way to improve performance by lowering costs," the study said. Overuse of antibiotics can lead to the emergence of bacteria which are resistant to the drugs designed to kill them.

"An appealing argument for decreasing antibiotic usage may involve cost," the study added. "There are publications in the literature showing substantial savings with less antibiotic usage."

source - Reuters