METHODS: A cross-sectional study using retrospective data from January 2000 to May 2002 was performed pertaining to elective colorectal surgery, cholecystectomy and inguinal hernia repairs. Appropriateness of antibiotic administration was determined based on compliance with national and internationally accepted guidelines on prophylactic antibiotic prescribing policy. A single dose or omission of antibiotic administration was judged appropriate for cholecystectomy and inguinal hernia repair, while up to 24 hours' dosing was considered appropriate practice for colorectal surgery.
RESULTS: Of 419 cases, there were 55 (13.1%) colorectal procedures, 97 (23.2%) cholecystectomies and 267 (63.7%) inguinal hernia repairs. Antibiotics were administered in a total of 306 (73%) cases, with single-dose prophylaxis in only 125 (41%) of these. Prophylaxis was inappropriately prolonged in 80%, 52% and 31% of colorectal, cholecystectomy and inguinal hernia cases, respectively. The corresponding mean duration of anti-biotic administration was 2.4+/-2.2, 1.6+/-1.8 and 1.1+/-1.3 days, respectively.
CONCLUSION: Antibiotic prophylaxis in elective surgery continues to be administered haphazardly. This study supports close surveillance of antibiotic utilization by a dedicated team, perhaps consisting of microbiologists or pharmacists, to minimize inappropriate administration.
METHODS: A questionnaire survey was conducted among general surgeons attending the annual Malaysian College of Surgeons meeting in 2002. A total of 110 questionnaires were distributed to specialist-grade general surgeons with varying subspecialty interests.
RESULTS: Seventy-seven (70%) surgeons returned the questionnaire. Of these, 43% were of the opinion that VTE was as common in Asian patients as in the West. Selective VTE prophylaxis was used by 99% in their practice. The indications for use, in order of frequency, were: previous VTE disease, risk grading, prolonged surgery, obesity, malignancy and age. Low molecular weight heparin was the most common type of prophylaxis used. VTE-related morbidity was reported by 44 surgeons (57%) over the past year, and 39% of these cases were fatal.
CONCLUSION: The high incidence of VTE-related complications indicates that the use of thromboprophylaxis is either insufficient or not matched to the level of risk. Updated guidelines on VTE prophylaxis should be used so that a standardized approach can ensure that patients receive adequate prophylaxis where indicated.
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