Survey of surgical infections currently known (SOSICK): A multicenter examination of antimicrobial use from the Surgical Infection Society Scientific Studies Committee

Nicholas Namias, Jonathan P. Meizoso, David H. Livingston, Charles Adams, Gregory J. Beilman, Walter Biffl, Juan J. Blondet, Patrick Blute, Jessica Bollinger, Susan A. Brundage, Jeffrey G. Chipman, Jeffrey A. Claridge, Raul Coimbra, Charles H. Cook, Joseph Cuschieri, Daniel L. Dent, Lynn Derting, Shaleagh Earl, Anthony Gerlach, Laura HennessyJeanne Lee, Yanumei Li, Pamela Lipsett, Frederick Luchette, John E. Mazuski, Chet A. Morrison, Claudio Nunes, Kim Overton, Mary Ann Purtill, Marline Santos, Orla N. Smith, Sandy Swoboda, Ton That Hieu, Shirin Towfigh, Wael N. Yacoub, Charles J. Yowler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: The Scientific Studies Committee of the Surgical Infection Society undertook the present study to examine the prevalence of and indications for antimicrobial use in intensive care units where members of the Society practice. Methods: Information and data collection sheets were posted on the Internet for download by members interested in participating. All centers were required to obtain approval from their local human subjects research office or equivalent. A one-week time was set during which the center could collect information on any one day, at the center's convenience. Data collection sheets were then sent to the lead author for analysis. Seventeen centers reported data for 371 patients in 22 intensive care units. Results: Trauma and general surgical patients comprised 224 of the patients (60%). The indications for anti-infective agents were prophylactic (22%), empiric (27%), therapeutic with known pathogen (41%), therapeutic without known pathogen (e.g., cellulitis) (4%), insistence of influential practitioner (4%), or non-anti-infective purposes (e.g., erythromycin for gastric motility) (2%). Only 44%, 29%, and 54% of the orders for prophylactic, empiric, and therapeutic antibiotics, respectively, had date-certain stop dates. The antimicrobial drugs most commonly used were vancomycin, piperacillin-tazobactam, and fluconazole. Conclusion: Most patients were receiving antimicrobial agents. Polypharmacy was common. Most patients did not have a date-certain stop date. This study sets the benchmark for future study regarding antibiotic prescribing behavior in surgical intensive care units.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-514
Number of pages6
JournalSurgical Infections
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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