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Comparison of routine prophylaxis with vancomycin or cefazolin for femoral neck fracture surgery: microbiological and clinical outcomes.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of antibiotic prophylaxis on the emergence of vancomycin-resistant strains of Enterococcus faecium, Enterococcus faecalis, and Staphylococcus aureus and the incidence of surgical site infection (SSI) after vancomycin or cefazolin prophylaxis for femoral neck fracture surgery.

DESIGN: Prospective cohort study.

SETTING: A hospital with a high prevalence of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) carriage.

PATIENTS: All patients admitted with a femoral neck fracture from March 1, 2004 through February 28, 2005 were prospectively identified and screened for MRSA and vancomycin-resistant (VRE) carriage at admission and at day 7. Deep incisional and organ/space SSIs were also recorded.

RESULTS: Of 263 patients included in the study, 152 (58%) received cefazolin and 106 (40%) received vancomycin. At admission, the prevalence of MRSA carriage was 6.8%; it was 12% among patients with risk factors and 2.2% among patients with no risk factors (P=.002). At day 7 after surgery, there were 6 patients (2%) who had hospital-acquired MRSA, corresponding to 0.7% in the cefazolin group and 5% in the vancomycin group (P=.04); none of the MRSA isolates were resistant to glycopeptides. The rate of VRE carriage at admission was 0.4%. Three patients (1%) had acquired carriage of VRE (1 had E. faecium and 2 had E. faecalis); all 3 were in the cefazolin group (2% of patients) and none in the vancomycin group (P=.27). Eight SSIs (3%) occurred, 4% in the cefazolin group and 2% in the vancomycin group (P=.47).

CONCLUSIONS: This preliminary study demonstrates that cefazolin and vancomycin prophylaxis have similar impacts on the emergence of glycopeptide-resistant pathogens. Neither MRSA infection nor increased rates of SSI with other bacteria were observed in the vancomycin group, suggesting that a larger multicenter study should be initiated.

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