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Review: antibiotics reduce wound infections and intra-abdominal abscesses in patients having appendectomy

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QUESTION: Does antibiotic treatment reduce postoperative infections in patients having appendectomy?

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (issue 1, 2001), Medline (January 1966 to September 2000), EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, and the Cochrane Colorectal Cancer Group trials register (September 2000), and by reviewing bibliographies of identified studies.

Study selection

Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in which treatment with antibiotics (given before, during, or after surgery) was compared with placebo in patients with suspected appendicitis who were having appendectomy and if ≥1 of the following outcomes was reported: wound infection, postoperative intra-abdominal abscess, length of hospital stay, and mortality. Studies that compared antibiotics with a control group receiving no treatment were excluded unless blinding was …

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  • Sources of funding: Danish Pharmacy Foundation of 1991, Denmark; and Danish Institute for Health Technology Assessment, Denmark.

  • For correspondence: Dr B R Andersen, Gynaecological Department H:S Hvidovre Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark. cccg{at}