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To assess whether a self-reported β-lactam allergy is associated with an increased risk of surgical site infection (SSI) across a broad range of procedures and to determine whether this association is mediated by the receipt of an alternate antibiotic to cefazolin.
Retrospective cohort study.
Surgical procedures sampled by an institutional National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database over an 18-month period (January 2017 to June 2018) from 7 surgical specialties.
Tertiary-care academic hospital.
Of the 3,589 surgical procedures included in the study, 369 (10.3%) were performed in patients with a reported β-lactam allergy. Those with a reported β-lactam allergy were significantly less likely to receive cefazolin (38.8% vs 95.5%) or metronidazole (20.3% vs 26.1%) and were more likely to receive clindamycin (52.0% vs 0.2%), gentamicin (3.5% vs 0%), or vancomycin (2.2% vs 0.1%) than those without allergy. An SSI occurred in 154 of 3,220 procedures (4.8%) in patients without reported allergy and 27 of 369 (7.3%) with reported allergy. In the multivariable regression model, a reported β-lactam allergy was associated with a statistically significant increase in SSI risk (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.61; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04–2.51; P = .03). This effect was completely mediated by receipt of an alternate antibiotic to cefazolin (indirect effect aOR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.17–2.34; P = .005).
Self-reported β-lactam allergy was associated with an increased SSI risk mediated through receipt of alternate antibiotic prophylaxis. Safely increasing use of cefazolin prophylaxis in patients with reported β-lactam allergy can potentially lower the risk of SSIs.
We aimed to rigorously evaluate the impact of prospective audit and feedback on broad-spectrum antimicrobial use among critical care patients.
Prospective, controlled interrupted time series.
Single tertiary care center with 3 intensive care units.
Patients and Interventions.
A formal review of all critical care patients on their third or tenth day of broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy was conducted, and suggestions for antimicrobial optimization were communicated to the critical care team.
The primary outcome was broad-spectrum antibiotic use (days of therapy per 1000 patient-days; secondary outcomes included overall antibiotic use, gram-negative bacterial susceptibility, nosocomial Clostridium difficile infections, length of stay, and mortality.
The mean monthly broad-spectrum antibiotic use decreased from 644 days of therapy per 1,000 patient-days in the preintervention period to 503 days of therapy per 1,000 patient-days in the postintervention period (P < .0001); time series modeling confirmed an immediate decrease (± standard error) of 119 ± 37.9 days of therapy per 1,000 patient-days (P = .0054). In contrast, no changes were identified in the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics in the control group (nonintervention medical and surgical wards) or in the use of control medications in critical care (stress ulcer prophylaxis). The incidence of nosocomial C. difficile infections decreased from 11 to 6 cases in the study intensive care units, whereas the incidence increased from 87 to 116 cases in the control wards (P = .04). Overall gram-negative susceptibility to meropenem increased in the critical care units. Intensive care unit length of stay and mortality did not change.
Institution of a formal prospective audit and feedback program appears to be a safe and effective means to improve broad-spectrum antimicrobial use in critical care.
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