Powdered Vancomycin Cuts Surgical Infection Risk in Diabetic Patients

A recent case-control study in Foot & Ankle International found that high-risk diabetic patients (mean age of 60) undergoing reconstructive foot and/or ankle surgery were 80% less likely to develop a deep surgical-site infection when surgeons applied vancomycin powder to the surgical wound than when they didn’t. The overall likelihood of any surgical-site infection (deep or superficial) was decreased by 73% in patients who received powdered vancomycin. The cost of vancomycin and the risk of complications associated with it are both low, the study noted.

The authors concluded that “based on this study, orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons may consider applying 500 mg to 1,000 mg of vancomycin powder prior to skin closure in diabetic patients who are not allergic to vancomycin.”

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