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When Should Antibiotics be given to prevent Surgical Site Infections?

Should antibiotics be given to patients in order to prevent surgical site infections? According to the Merck Manual: “Most surgical procedures do not require prophylactic or postoperative antibiotics. However, certain patient-related and procedure-related factors alter the risk/benefit ratio in favor of prophylactic use.” Specific surgeries and patient factors are addressed. Written in clinical language. Updated November 2020.

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