A prospective double blind, randomised study was performed in 100 patients undergoing major elective thoracic surgery to assess a new method of prophylaxis of wound infection using one preincisional intraparietal infiltration of cefuroxime sodium along the line of proposed incision as the sole protection against wound infection. A significant (p less than 0.01) reduction in the incidence of wound infection occurred in the antibiotic treated group (2%) compared with the control group (20%), who received by the same route the same volume of saline only. The groups were comparable with respect to age, sex, pathological condition, and operative variables. The use of additional antibiotics was significantly greater in the control group (p less than 0.01), largely owing to a much greater incidence of postoperative pulmonary infection in the control group (60%) than in the antibiotic treated group (40%). No morbidity was associated with this technique. The organisms found in oesophageal and bronchial operative luminal specimens did not correlate with postoperative wound or pulmonary infection or with organisms causing these infections. Reductions in wound and pulmonary infection rates equivalent to those produced by conventional multiple dose parenteral regimens were achieved by this technique.
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