Cefotaxime Lavage in Children Undergoing Appendicectomy
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In an attempt to reduce postoperative sepsis, a series of randomised, double-blind studies was begun in 1982, using cefotaxime as backbone therapy. Up to 1985 (stages I and II), the best results were obtained using a combination of cefotaxime (75 mg/kg intravenously in 3 doses at 12-hourly intervals) plus metronidazole (10 mg/kg intravenously in 3 doses), both drugs administered 1 hour before surgery (preoperatively) or at anaesthetic induction (perioperatively). In 300 consecutive cases, the wound infection rates were 1% in uncomplicated acute appendicitis and 5% in perforated/gangrenous appendices.
The present study (stage III) reports the findings in 401 consecutive patients: 215 treated with the above regimen, either pre-or perioperatively (group 1) and 186 who additionally had peritoneal lavage with cefotaxime 2 g/L during surgery (group 2). There were 16 wound infections overall, 2 among patients administered prophylaxis preoperatively and 14 in those administered prophylaxis perioperatively. All produced mixed cultures, with Escherichia coli, Streptococcus milleri and Bacteroides fragilis predominating. The overall figures for postoperative sepsis are 12/215 (5.6%) in the non-lavage group and 8/186 (4.3%) in the lavage group. Among patients with a perforated and/or gangrenous appendix, the wound infection rate was 8/72 (11.1% ) in the non-lavage group (group 1) and 4/66 (6.1%) in the lavage group (group 2). Each group had 2 cases of pelvic abscess.
KeywordsAppendicitis Metronidazole Cefotaxime Acute Appendicitis Peritoneal Lavage
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