Picture for representation
Picture for representation

With the increase in the number of health complications, surgeries have become very common these days. Patients are more vulnerable and are prone to several infections post any surgery as the stress of the procedure on the body can make it weak in fighting infections.

As the world observes World Antibiotics Awareness Week from November 18 to 24, Dr Manas Ranjan Tripathy, Laparoscopic, Bariatric and General Surgeon, Apollo Spectra Hospital, Koramangala, Bangalore said it is important for everyone to understand the role of antibiotics which plays an important role in the field of medical science and surgeries. Moreover, the use of antibiotics is the most effective way to treat any infections and helps in faster recovery in most cases.

“While antibiotics can be a very useful way of preventing post-surgery infections, the dosage and period are crucial. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation for surgical site infection says that antibiotics should be used before or during the surgical procedure. The sole purpose of this particular recommendation is to keep a check on the maximum level of drug in the patient’s blood at the time of incision so that it can kill any bug that comes in during the process,” said Dr Rajan.

Surgical site infections are the most usual nosocomial infections in patients observed post-surgery. A surgical site infection is referred to as an infection that occurs at or around the wound after a surgical procedure within 30 days or one year if any implantation is left.

“The whole process of surgery is very crucial and intensive care is a must, especially in the post-surgery phase. The recovery period is longer and in some cases, a patient might even require corrective surgery to treat the infections. The infection is mostly detected during the first eight weeks after getting discharged from the hospital. It has also been seen that patients who develop surgical site infections are more likely to be readmitted to the hospital even after getting discharged,” he added.

However, these conditions can be prevented or cured with the help of rightly prescribed Prophylactic Antibiotics. Prophylactic antibiotics should be initiated one hour before the surgical procedure according to the need of the surgical procedure. The antibiotics should be discontinued within 24 hours of a procedure except in the case of cardiothoracic surgery where it is recommended to be 48 hours.

Moreover, the WHO’s most recent guidelines state that antibiotics should only be used before the surgery to prevent infections and not after the procedure. But in some cases when the patients have fallen prey to certain infections in the postoperative phase, it becomes imperative for surgeons to use antibiotics to treat the condition.

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