Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America

View all recommendations from this society

Released October 1, 2015

Don’t continue surgical prophylactic antibiotics after the patient has left the operating room.

Prophylactic antibiotics during surgery can significantly decrease the risk of surgical site infections; however, they only have benefit if used immediately around the time of surgery. When antibiotics are used for longer than necessary, they increase the risk of infection with antibiotic-resistant bacteria and C. difficile.


These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

A list of approximately 40 potential Choosing Wisely recommendations were collected from members of the SHEA Guidelines, Public Policy and Government Affairs, Antibiotic Stewardship, Education and Publications Committees. From those suggestions, a subgroup of the Guidelines Committee reviewed the list for duplicates and anonymously electronically ranked them. The top fifteen were sent to the SHEA Research Network for a separate ranking. Those that ranked in the top eight were reviewed by the Guidelines Committee for their appropriateness for the Choosing Wisely campaign, and five final recommendations were formally approved via individual member vote by the SHEA Guidelines Committee and the SHEA Board of Trustees.

For SHEA’s disclosure and conflict of interest policy, please visit www.shea-online.org.

Sources

Anderson DJ, Podgorny K, Berríos-Torres SI, Bratzler DW, Dellinger EP, Greene L, Nyquist AC, Saiman L, Yokoe DS, Maragakis LL, Kaye KS. Strategies to prevent surgical site infections in acute care hospitals: 2014 update. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2014 Sep;35 Suppl 2:S66-88.

Bratzler DW, Dellinger EP, Olsen KM, Perl TM, Auwaerter PG, Bolon MK, Fish DN, Napolitano LM, Sawyer RG, Slain D, Steinberg JP, Weinstein RA; American Society of Health-System Pharmacists; Infectious Disease Society of America; Surgical Infection Society; Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. Clinical practice guidelines for antimicrobial prophylaxis in surgery. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2013 Feb 1;70(3):195-283.