Letter to the Editor  |   December 2019
The Way We SEE It: Surgeon Responsible for Choice of Antibiotic
Article Information
Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor   |   December 2019
The Way We SEE It: Surgeon Responsible for Choice of Antibiotic
ASA Monitor 12 2019, Vol.83, 61.
ASA Monitor 12 2019, Vol.83, 61.
We read with interest the SEE question regarding a patient who claims to be allergic to penicillin (ASA Monitor, September 2019, page 64). We are concerned about the implications of the opening sentence: “Perioperative antimicrobial prophylaxis (AMP) is often the responsibility of the anesthesiologist.”
As pointed out in the discussion section for the question, anesthesiologists often lack education regarding antibiotic administration. We agree.
We write this Letter to the Editor in order to advance our opinion that the surgeon is the individual who is ultimately responsible for the choice of antibiotic (not the anesthesiologist). The surgeon determines the surgical procedure and has the training to determine the appropriate antibiotic.
December 6, 2019
Andrew Leibowitz
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Couldn’t disagree more
Antibiotic choice is evidence-based AND the subject of a review article in Anesthesiology this month. We are educated doctors, and the surgeon has no better means of deciding the proper antibiotic than we do. To suggest otherwise is demeaning to the specialty and harks back to the “I’m just here to put ‘em asleep and wake ‘em up” days. That logic defies being considered a perioperative specialist.
December 6, 2019
William Merritt
I actually did a fellowship in infectious diseases as a fully trained pediatrician - albeit a long time ago. Then trained in anesthesia - remaining on the adult side. Even with this background, I do not feel comfortable selecting antibiotics at surgical request - not to mention the many new antimicrobials now in play. It is a surgical event - surgical med order.
December 14, 2019
Dean Stein
We rarely see the post op infections and almost never treat them. The physician who is responsible for treating a potential infection should be the one that decides on prophylaxis.
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