Post-surgical pediatric infections reduced by antibiotic timing

July 23, 2008

Prophylactic antibiotics administered to children an hour or less before spinal surgery may reduce the subsequent risk of infections, according to the online Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.

Prophylactic antibiotics administered to children an hour or less before spinal surgery may reduce the subsequent risk of infections, according to the online Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins Children's Center studied 989 cases of pediatric spinal fusion, of which 36 had deep surgical site infections. Compared to controls, these cases were significantly more likely to be younger, have previous spine surgery, and to have conditions such as spina bifida, cerebral palsy, and muscular dystrophy.

The investigators also found that inappropriate timing of antibiotic prophylaxis was a significant independent risk factor for infections. This risk remained significant if antiobitics were given more than one hour before surgical incision.

A significantly increased risk of infection was also associated with antibiotics administered after surgical incision.