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  • Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, Volume 33, Issue 9
  • September 2012, pp. 912-916

Successful Implementation of a Window for Routine Antimicrobial Prophylaxis Shorter than That of the World Health Organization Standard

  • Heidi Misteli (a1), Andreas F. Widmer (a2), Walter P. Weber (a1), Evelyne Bucher (a3), Marc Dangel (a2), Stefan Reck (a1), Daniel Oertli (a1), Walter R. Marti (a4) and Rachel Rosenthal (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 January 2015

To evaluate the feasibility of implementation of the refined window for routine antimicrobial prophylaxis (RAP) of 30-74 minutes before skin incision compared to the World Health Organization (WHO) standard of 0-60 minutes.


Prospective study on timing of routine antimicrobial prophylaxis in 2 different time periods.


Tertiary referral university hospital with 30,000 surgical procedures per year.


In all consecutive vascular, visceral, and trauma procedures, the timing was prospectively recorded during a first time period of 2 years (A; baseline) and a second period of 1 year (B; after intervention). An intensive intervention program was initiated after baseline. The primary outcome parameter was timing; the secondary outcome parameter was surgical site infection (SSI) rate in the subgroup of patients undergoing cholecystectomy/colon resection.


During baseline time period A (3,836 procedures), RAP was administered 30–74 minutes before skin incision in 1,750 (41.0%) procedures; during time period B (1,537 procedures), it was administered in 914 (56.0%; P < .001). The subgroup analysis did not reveal a significant difference in SSI rate.


This bundle of interventions resulted in a statistically significant improvement of timing of RAP even at a shortened window compared to the WHO standard.

Corresponding author
Department of General Surgery, University Hospital of Basel, Spitalstrasse 21, CH-4031 Basel, Switzerland (
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Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology
  • ISSN: 0899-823X
  • EISSN: 1559-6834
  • URL: /core/journals/infection-control-and-hospital-epidemiology
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