Retrospective evaluation of antimicrobial prophylaxis in prevention of surgical site infection in the pediatric population

Paediatr Anaesth. 2014 Sep;24(9):994-8. doi: 10.1111/pan.12436. Epub 2014 May 14.


Background and objectives: Few studies have been conducted in pediatric patients evaluating efficacy of prophylactic antibiotics for prevention of surgical site infection (SSI). This retrospective study was undertaken to determine the effect of antibiotic prophylaxis in the prevention of SSI in children.

Methods: With IRB approval, our perioperative electronic clinical information database was queried. Pediatric patients (≤18 years) undergoing general surgery, cardiac surgery, and spinal surgery at Mott Children's Hospital from January 2000 to April 2010 were included. Demographics and preoperative data were obtained from the Centricity Intraoperative Database, and any episodes of SSI were obtained by review of the infection control records.

Results: A total 5023 pediatric patients underwent surgery from January 2000 to April 2010. The average age of the children in the sample was 4.16 ± 5.5 years, and of these, 57% were boys. Overall, 119 (2.37%) cases of SSI were identified. There were no associations between the various patient factors and the development of SSIs. Children for whom antibiotics were administered incorrectly had a 1.7-fold increased risk of SSIs compared with children who received antibiotics within the recommended guidelines (P < 0.02). Children who received antibiotics were more likely to suffer an SSI compared with those who did not.

Conclusions: Proper administration of preoperative antibiotics in pediatric patients is one of the few modifiable and significant factors in prevention of SSI.

Keywords: antibacterial agents; antibiotic prophylaxis; child; postoperative complications; risk factors; surgical wound infection.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis / methods*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Surgical Wound Infection / prevention & control*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents