Antibiotic prophylaxis: theory and reality in orthopaedics

T W Dougall, R Duthie, N Maffulli, J D Hutchison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Marked differences were found when prophylactic antibiotic regimens and accuracy of administration were compared in the orthopaedic trauma and elective surgery units of one city. Consultants carrying out elective, primary joint replacements advocated similar antibiotic policies. There was 100% compliance in correct prescription and over 99% in administration of antibiotic doses. An audit of eight surgeons who undertook emergency surgery on adult hip fractures found three different prophylactic antibiotic regimens and that half of the consultants wished no antibiotics to be given. Only 33% of the patients were prescribed the schedule that their consultant wished and there were frequent inaccuracies in dose administration. Of 48 doses prescribed, five were omitted and in addition, four were recorded as having been given although they were unprescribed. Whilst antibiotic prophylaxis is universally accepted and the drugs are prescribed and administered accurately in cases of elective joint arthroplasty, the converse is true for emergency hip surgery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-2
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Adult
  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis
  • Cefuroxime
  • Cephalosporins
  • Emergencies
  • Hip Fractures
  • Humans
  • Joint Prosthesis
  • Physician's Practice Patterns
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Scotland


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