Surgical Antibiotic Prophylaxis: A Descriptive Study among Thoracic Surgeons


1 Tracheal Diseases Research Center, National Research Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (NRITLD), Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran,

2 Pharmaceutical Sciences Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.


Background: Surgical site infections (SSIs) are common complications following surgeries and increase mortality, morbidity and healthcare costs. The use of antimicrobial prophylaxis is an effective measure to prevent development of SSIs. This study aimed to evaluate the current use of prophylactic antibiotics in thoracic surgeries in Iran. Materials and Methods: A descriptive study was conducted among thoracic surgeons in order to assess their knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) about surgical antibiotic prophylaxis (SAP). A four-section multiple-choice questionnaire was designed and hand-delivered to registered thoracic surgeons. The surgeons' answers were considered correct when they were in accordance to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacist (ASHP) guidelines. Results: Seventy thoracic surgeons were requested to participate in this study and their response rate was 71.4%. Thirty-five (70%) surgeons had good knowledge about appropriate SAP. However, less than half of the respondents were aware of appropriate SAP in case of Ig E-mediated reaction to penicillin and risk of Gram-negative infections. The surgeon’s attitude score about the need for local and national guidelines for SAP was 78% and 90%, respectively. Accordance of the physician’s practice with ASHP guidelines regarding timing of the first dosage of SAP was acceptable while correct administration of an intraoperative dose was 40% in agreement with the guideline. Conclusion: Although thoracic surgeons had a good attitude towards antibiotic prophylaxis guidelines, their knowledge and practice should be improved for proper administration of SAP.