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The Association of Propofol Usage With Postoperative Wound Infection Rate in Clean Wounds: A Retrospective Study

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To determine if the use of propofol influences the postoperative infection rate of clean surgical wounds in dogs and cats. Study Design

Retrospective study. Sample Population

863 dogs and cats undergoing clean surgical procedures. Methods

Medical and anesthetic records of surgical cases used as part of a previously described epidemiologic study on postoperative wound infection rates were reviewed. The records of all animals with clean surgical wounds were reviewed to determine if propofol had been used for anesthetic induction or maintenance during the procedure. To determine the effect of propofol use on wound infection rate, data were analyzed using Fisher's exact test, followed by multiple logistic regression to adjust for various factors, including surgery time, time from clipping to surgery, antibiotic usage, coexisting distant infection, endocrine disease, and the use of immunosuppressive drugs in the perioperative period. Results and Conclusions

Of 863 dogs and cats with clean surgical wounds, 46 received propofol as part of the anesthetic protocol. A total of 6 of 46 animals (13%) receiving propofol developed postoperative wound infections, compared with 33 of 817 animals (4%) not receiving propofol ( P= .014 ; % difference = 9%; 95% CI = 0.5% to 24%). Adjusting for all other factors evaluated, animals receiving propofol were 3.8 times more likely to develop postoperative wound infections compared to animals not given propofol (95% CI = 1.5–9.9). Clinical Implications

Propofol is a lipid-based emulsion capable of supporting microbial growth. Administration of a potentially contaminated solution may contribute to surgical wound infection or other patient morbidity or mortality. Strict aseptic technique in the preparation of the solution and prompt disposal of unused drug are imperative to curtail the potential for extrinsic contamination.

©Copyright 1999 by The American College of Veterinary Surgeons
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: From the Department of Clinical Studies, Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

Publication date: 1999-07-01

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