The effectiveness of a single topical administration of chloramphenicol in reducing the frequency of wound infections after minor surgical procedures
Researchers at James Cook University (Queensland, Australia) have studied the effectiveness of a single topical administration of chloramphenicol ointment for the prevention of wound infections after minor dermatological surgeries.
A prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study was conducted at the Queensland Regional Medical Center. The study involved 972 patients who underwent minor surgical procedures for dermatological problems, of which 488 patients were randomly assigned to receive chloramphenicol locally, and 484 people received ointments with paraffin (placebo). The main parameter evaluated during this study was the incidence of infectious complications.
The incidence of infections in the group using chloramphenicol was significantly lower than in the control group (6.6%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 4.9-8.8 and 11.0%, CI at 95% 7.9-15, 1, respectively, p = 0.01).
The absolute decrease in the frequency of infections was 4.4%. The relative decrease in the frequency of complications from infectious wounds was 40% and the relative risk of wound infections in the control group was 1.7 (95% CI 1.1-2.5), that is, ie was 1.7 times higher than in the chloramphenicol use group. The number of patients to be treated to prevent 1 case of wound infection is 22.8.
Thus, this study demonstrated that the single local use of chloramphenicol in patients after minor surgeries with a high risk of postoperative wound complications leads to a statistically significant absolute decrease in the incidence of infections in the surgical area, however, according to the study authors, this decrease is not significant clinical significance.