Reduction of Surgical Site Infection after Trauma Laparotomy Through Use of a Specific Protocol for Antibiotic Prophylaxis

John Mazuski, William J. Symons, Stephen Jarman, Bryan Sato, William Carroll, Grant V. Bochicchio, John P. Kirby, Douglas J. Schuerer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Emergency laparotomy for abdominal trauma is associated with high rates of surgical site infection (SSI). A protocol for antimicrobial prophylaxis (AMP) for trauma laparotomy was implemented to determine whether SSI could be reduced by adhering to established principles of AMP. Patients and Methods: A protocol utilizing ertapenem administered immediately before initiation of trauma laparotomy was adopted. Compliance with measures of adequate AMP were determined before and after protocol implementation, as were rates of SSI and other infections related to abdominal trauma. Univariable and multivariable analyses were performed to determine risk factors for development of infection related to trauma laparotomy. Results: Over a four-year period, 320 patient operations were reviewed. Ertapenem use for prophylaxis increased to 54% in the post-intervention cohort. Compliance with individual measures of appropriate AMP improved modestly. Overall, infections related to trauma laparotomy decreased by 46% (absolute decrease of 13%) in the post-intervention cohort. Multivariable analysis confirmed that treatment during the post-intervention phase was associated with this decrease, with a separate analysis suggesting that ertapenem use was an important factor in this decrease. Conclusions: Development of a standardized protocol for AMP in trauma laparotomy led to decreases in infectious complications after that procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-157
Number of pages17
JournalSurgical infections
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023


  • abdominal trauma
  • antimicrobial prophylaxis
  • emergency laparotomy
  • intra-Abdominal infection
  • surgical site infection


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