Decreasing Infections after Surgery: Bundling Decolonization and Prophylaxis

Marin L. Schweizer Ph.D.  Assistant Professor University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA, Interview with:
Marin L. Schweizer Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
Iowa City, IA, USA What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Schweizer: A clinical bundle that includes nasally screening cardiac and orthopedic surgery patients for S. aureus (both methicillin-resistant S. aureus and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus), decolonizing carriers, and changing antibiotic prophylaxis for MRSA carriers, can significantly reduce the number of gram-positive surgical site infections, S. aureus surgical site infections and MRSA surgical site infections. Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Schweizer: It was interesting to note that studies have shown that providing all cardiac and orthopedic surgery patients with the anti-MRSA drug vancomycin prophylactically reduced the risk of MRSA surgical site infections but there was a trend toward it being a risk factor for methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) surgical site infections). What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Schweizer: Many surgical site infections can be prevented using a simple bundle of interventions. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Schweizer: A large cluster randomized controlled trial comparing interventions to reduce surgical site infections should be performed.


Schweizer M ,Perencevich E ,McDanel J ,Carson J ,Formanek M ,Hafner J ,et al. Effectiveness of a bundled intervention of decolonization and prophylaxis to decrease Gram positive surgical site infections after cardiac or orthopedic surgery: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2013;346:f2743


Last Updated on September 19, 2013 by Marie Benz MD FAAD