Sulbactam is a beta-lactamase inhibitor, which when administered with ampicillin, increases the latter agents antibacterial activity against beta-lactamase producing organisms. One hundred children between the ages of 5 and 14 undergoing emergency appendectomy were entered into a prospective randomized trial comparing sulbactam and ampicillin (SA) with metronidazole and cefotaxime (MC) as prophylaxis against postoperative wound infection. Patients in whom the appendix was perforated or gangrenous received a 72-hour course of antibiotics, others received a single dose only. The overall wound infection rate was 8% (14% in patients with perforation or gangrene and 4% in those without). There was no difference in infection rate between the two antibiotic groups; there were three wound infections and one subphrenic abscess in patients receiving SA and four wound infections in patients receiving MC. SA, therefore, appears to be a suitable antibiotic combination for use as prophylaxis in appendicitis in children.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We should like to thank the staff of the University Hospital Microbiology department, especially W.A. Coulishaw who performed the antibiotic sensitivity testing, Dr K.W. Brammer of Pfizer Clinical ResearCh Department for his help and advice, and Pfizer Ltd. for financial assistance.
- Acute appendicitis
- betalactamase inhibitor
- wound infection