Antimicrobial Stewardship: A Call to Action for Surgeons

Massimo Sartelli, Therese M. Duane, Fausto Catena, Jeffrey M. Tessier, Federico Coccolini, Lillian S. Kao, Belinda De Simone, Francesco M. Labricciosa, Addison K. May, Luca Ansaloni, John E. Mazuski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Despite current antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) being advocated by infectious disease specialists and discussed by national and international policy makers, ASPs coverage remains limited to only certain hospitals as well as specific service lines within hospitals. The ASPs incorporate a variety of strategies to optimize antimicrobial agent use in the hospital, yet the exact set of interventions essential to ASP success remains unknown. Promotion of ASPs across clinical practice is crucial to their success to ensure standardization of antimicrobial agent use within an institution. To effectively accomplish this standardization, providers who actively engage in antimicrobial agent prescribing should participate in the establishment and support of these programs. Hence, surgeons need to play a major role in these collaborations. Surgeons must be aware that judicious antibiotic utilization is an integral part of any stewardship program and necessary to maximize clinical cure and minimize emergence of antimicrobial resistance. The battle against antibiotic resistance should be fought by all healthcare professionals. If surgeons around the world participate in this global fight and demonstrate awareness of the major problem of antimicrobial resistance, they will be pivotal leaders. If surgeons fail to actively engage and use antibiotics judiciously, they will find themselves deprived of the autonomy to treat their patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-631
Number of pages7
JournalSurgical infections
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • antibiotic prophylaxis
  • intra-abdominal infection
  • necrotizing soft tissue infection
  • surgical site infection
  • trauma


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