Research Article

Survey of antibiotic prophylaxis in gastrointestinal surgery in Scotland.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982; 285 doi: (Published 25 September 1982) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982;285:871
  1. N I Wilson,
  2. P A Wright,
  3. C S McArdle


    The current use of prophylactic antibiotics in gastrointestinal surgery in Scotland was established by postal questionnaire. Twenty-one per cent of surgeons used prophylactic antibiotics during cholecystectomy, 49% during appendicectomy, and 95% for elective colorectal surgery. Two-thirds of those surgeons who did not provide routine antibiotic cover considered that the incidence of wound sepsis in their surgical practice was too low to merit special measures. Most surgeons using prophylaxis chose an appropriate antibiotic. The parenteral route for administration of antibiotic was used by 93% of surgeons during cholecystectomy, 29% during appendicectomy, and 45% in elective colorectal surgery. Most did not prolong cover beyond 24 hours postoperatively. This survey shows that the concepts governing the use of antibiotic prophylaxis have been absorbed into current surgical practice. Most surgeons used appropriate antibiotic regimens; many prefer the parenteral route of administration; most do not prolong cover beyond 24 hours.