A team from Houston, Texas, USA, developed a clinical protocol for the management of appendicitis to decrease postoperative infectious complications.
Between January and December 1999, 206 patients with appendicitis were treated on protocol.
Retrospectively, the charts were reviewed for all protocol patients, as well as for 232 patients with appendicitis treated in the year prior to protocol initiation.
With protocol: 4%
Without protocol: 9%
| American Journal of Surgery |
The researchers collected data on surgical wound infections and intra-abdominal abscesses.
It was found that there were significantly fewer infectious complications in the protocol group than in the non-protocol group (4% versus 9%).
Furthermore, in patients with a perforated or gangrenous appendix, the infectious complication rate was reduced from 33% to 13%.
Dr Kenneth S. Helmer, of the University of Texas-Houston Medical School and LBJ General Hospital, concluded on behalf of his colleagues, "The incidence of infectious complications after appendectomy can be significantly reduced with a standardized approach to antibiotic therapy and wound management."