West African Journal of Medicine

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A Survey on Selection and Administration of Perioperative Antibiotics by Anaesthetists

OT Alagbe-Briggs, BOI Onajin Obembe


Background: Perioperative antibiotic administration for prophylaxis of surgical site infections can increase the anaesthetists workload. However, timely administration is essential to reduce risks and improve patient outcome.
Objective: This survey evaluates anaesthetists’ opinion concerning perioperative antibiotic therapy and training.
Methodology: Structured questionnaires relating to the study objective were administered to a cross-section of anaesthetists present at a national conference. The 16 question survey focused on the grade of anaesthetists, practice centre, opinion about perioperative antibiotic therapy and anaesthetists´ training regarding use. Data was analysed and presented as percentages of total responses.
Results: A total of 82 questionnaires were administered with 66 respondents (response rate- 81.0%); which included consultants 16(24.2%), residents 39(59.1%) and nurses 9(13.6%). Most 58(87.9%) were practicing in teaching hospitals and 62(93.9%) agreed that the surgeon was responsible for preoperative antibiotic selection. The anaesthetist 30(45.5%) and surgeon 26(39.4%) were responsible for preoperative administration, but the anaesthetist assumes responsibility following preoperative omissions 43(65.2%). Confirmation of administration preincision was by anaesthetist 31(47.0%) and surgeon 29(43.9%), but repeat administration during prolonged surgery was by former 38(57.6%). Training of anaesthetists in the selection 46(69.7%) and administration 36 (antibiotics was inadequate; and deemed necessary by50(75.8%) and 55(83.3%) respondents respectively.
Conclusion: Antibiotic selection though exclusively by the surgeon, higher responsibility is placed on the anaesthetist for preoperative administration, confirmation before incision and intraoperative re-dosing during prolonged surgery. Knowledge in selection and administration of antibiotics is inadequate and should be incorporated during the training.

Keywords: Perioperative antibiotics, Anaesthetist, Selection, Administration, Training.

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