Author(s): Tnz M, Schmid P, Kaiser G
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Abstract Prophylactic antibiotics are widely used during surgery, above all for clean-contaminated or contaminated procedures. Because factors other than the degree of contamination play a critical role in regard to postoperative infectious complications, it is not evident that recommendations for antibiotic prophylaxis for an adult population can be transferred to children. The aim of the study was to analyze the incidence of postoperative infections in children undergoing appendectomy for suspected appendicitis to evaluate critically the effectiveness of prophylaxis. The charts of all children undergoing appendectomy between 1988 and 1998 were analyzed. In general, appendectomies were performed without antimicrobial prophylaxis. If a perforated appendicitis was found at operation, antibiotics were given intraoperatively. Postoperative infectious complications were defined as wound infections, intraabdominal infections, or prolonged postoperative pyrexia. During the study period of 10 years, 954 patients underwent appendectomy. In 24\% of cases the appendix was perforated. Patients received prophylactic antibiotics at the surgeon's discretion. These patients were excluded from further analysis. Among those with non-perforated appendicitis (n = 633), Infectious complications occurred in 19 (3\%). Analyzing subgroups according to histologic diagnosis, the incidence was 4.2\% (16/382) for gangrenous appendicitis and 1.2\% (3/251) for simple appendicitis or normal appendix. These figures are clearly lower than those reported from an adult population, indicating that results from adults cannot a priori be transferred to children, and that general recommendations concerning antimicrobial prophylaxis must be considered carefully for this age group.
This article was published in World J Surg
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology