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This article has been peer reviewed and is published in Surgical Infections Volume 13, Issue 6, 1 December 2012, Pages 371-375. The published version is available at DOI: 10.1089/sur.2011.096. © Copyright 2012, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2012.


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate body mass index (BMI) and antimicrobial dose as risk factors for surgical site infections in pediatric patients.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Children between 2 and 19 years of age undergoing clean orthopedic procedures and receiving at least one dose of perioperative antibiotics (cefazolin, vancomycin, or clindamycin) were studied. The retrospective case-controlled study was conducted at the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, a 180-bed tertiary-care academic pediatric hospital in Wilmington, DE. Data were collected from January 1, 2002, to December 31, 2005.

RESULTS: Underweight children had a higher risk for SSIs than overweight and normal-weight children. American Society of Anesthesiologists classes II and greater were associated with a greater risk of SSI. Longer procedures were also associated with a higher risk of SSI, specifically, duration of surgery >2 h. Children weighing ≥70 kg who received a standard dose of cefazolin (maximum of 1 g) had a higher risk of SSI caused by methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA).

CONCLUSIONS: Being underweight and undergoing an operation lasting >2 h created significant risks for SSI. Children weighing ≥70 kg receiving a standard 1-g dose of cefazolin had a greater risk of MSSA SSIs than children weighingantibiotic.

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