Implementing a standardized perioperative antibiotic prophylaxis protocol for neonates undergoing cardiac surgery

Ann Thorac Surg. 2014 Sep;98(3):927-33. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2014.04.090. Epub 2014 Jul 16.


Background: A lack of perioperative antibiotic prophylaxis guidelines for neonates undergoing cardiac surgery has resulted in a wide variation in practice. We sought to do the following: (1) Determine the safety of a perioperative antibiotic prophylaxis protocol for neonatal cardiac surgery as measured by surgical site infections (SSIs) rates before and after implementation of the protocol; and (2) evaluate compliance with selected process measures for perioperative antibiotic prophylaxis.

Methods: This quasi-experimental study included all cardiac procedures performed on neonates from July 2009 to June 2012 at a single center. An interdisciplinary task force developed a standardized perioperative antibiotic prophylaxis protocol in the fourth quarter of 2010. The SSI rates were compared in the preintervention (July 2009 to December 2010) versus the postintervention periods (January 2011 to June 2012). Compliance with process measures (appropriate drug, dose, timing, and discontinuation of perioperative antibiotic prophylaxis) was compared in the 2 periods.

Results: During the study period, 283 cardiac procedures were performed. The SSI rates were similar in the preintervention and postintervention periods (6.21 vs 5.80 per 100 procedures, respectively). Compliance with the 4 process measures significantly improved postintervention.

Conclusions: Restricting the duration of perioperative antibiotic prophylaxis after neonatal cardiac surgery to 48 hours in neonates with a closed sternum and to 24 hours after sternal closure was safe and did not increase the rate of SSIs. Compliance with selected process measures improved in the postintervention period. Additional multicenter studies are needed to develop national guidelines for perioperative prophylaxis for this population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis / adverse effects
  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis / standards*
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures*
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Surgical Wound Infection / epidemiology
  • Surgical Wound Infection / prevention & control