Prophylactic antibiotics in hip fractures. A double-blind, prospective study.

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Three hundred and seven patients, each of whom had a fracture of the proximal part of the femur, were studied in a randomized, double-blind fashion to determine whether perioperative administration of cephalothin would prevent postoperative infection. Major postoperative wound infections were significantly reduced in the cephalothin-treated group (4.7 per cent versus 0.7 per cent; p less than 0.05). There also was a reduction in the incidence of postoperative urinary-tract infections and a reduction in mean peak body temperatures. The duration of hospitalization was not affected and no hospital stay was prolonged by complications of antibiotic administration. However, in the cephalothin-treated group, a strong trend toward colonization by cephalothin-resistant organisms was noted.

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