Background: Surgical site infections (SSIs) represent a significant preventable source of morbidity, mortality, and cost. Prophylactic antibiotics have been shown to decrease SSI rates, and β-lactam antibiotics are recommended by national guidelines. It is currently unclear whether recommended β-lactam and recommended non-β-lactam antibiotic regimens are equivalent with respect to SSI risk reduction in colectomy patients.
Study design: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of SSI rates between prophylactic intravenously administered recommended β-lactam and non-β-lactam in colectomy patients (25 CPT codes) collected by the Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative from January 2013 to February 2018. Surgical site infection rates were compared as a dichotomous variable (no SSI vs SSI). Mixed-effects regression was used to compare the association between receiving a β-lactam or non-β-lactam antibiotic and likelihood of having an SSI.
Results: Of 9,949 patients, 9,411 (94.6%) received β-lactam antibiotics and 538 (5.4%) received non-β-lactam antibiotics. Overall, there were 622 (6.3%) patients with SSIs. Of the patients receiving β-lactam antibiotics, SSIs developed in 571 (6.1%) compared with 51 (9.5%) patients in the non-β-lactam group. After applying mixed-effects logistic regression, prophylactic treatment with a non-β-lactam regimen was associated with significantly higher odds of surgical site infection (odds ratio 1.65; 95% CI 1.20 to 2.26; p < 0.01).
Conclusions: Colectomy patients receiving β-lactam antibiotics had a lower likelihood of SSI compared with those receiving non-β-lactam antibiotics, even when antibiotics were compliant with national recommendations. Our findings suggest that surgeons should prescribe β-lactam antibiotics for prophylaxis whenever possible, reserving alternatives for those rare patients with true allergies or clinical indications for non-β-lactam antibiotic prophylaxis.
Copyright © 2019 American College of Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.