Limit Antibiotics Use To Single Dose To Prevent Infection At Surgical Site: NCDC

NEW DELHI: It is a common practice to put patients undergoing surgery on antibiotics to prevent infections. But what should be the duration of such medication?

According to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), use of antibiotics to prevent infections at the surgical site should be limited to a single dose or administered one day before the procedure. Post-procedure, NCDC says in a recent report, antibiotics should only be administered after a diagnosis of infection.

The report includes the results of a multi-centre survey led by the government agency which revealed most in-patients are given antibiotics for multiple days to prevent surgical site infection.

To determine the duration of surgical prophylaxis (the use of antibiotics for the prevention of surgical site infections) for patients, the administration of antibiotics within the previous 24 hours was observed and categorised as either one dose (S), multiple doses given in a single day (SP2), or multiple days (SP3).

The researchers found that most of the patients (91%) were put on SP3, only 1% patients were put on S and 8% patients were put on SP2.

Prolonged antibiotic administration to prevent infection is not only ineffective in reducing infections but increases antimicrobial resistance, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). In 2022, the ICMR issued an advisory stating most studies have suggested the efficacy of perioperative antibiotic prophylaxis for only 12 hours or less.

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