STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study.OBJECTIVE: To determine if topical vancomycin irrigation reduces the incidence of post-operative surgical site infections following pediatric spinal procedures. Surgical site infections (SSIs) following spinal procedures performed in pediatric patients represent a serious complication. Prophylactic use of topical vancomycin prior to closure has been shown to be effective in reducing incidence of SSIs in adult spinal procedures. Non-instrumented cases make up the majority of spinal procedures in pediatric patients, and the efficacy of prophylactic topical vancomycin in these procedures has not previously been reported.METHODS: This retrospective study reviewed all non-instrumented spinal procedures performed over a period from 05/2014-12/2016 for topical vancomycin use, surgical site infections, and clinical variables associated with SSI. Topical vancomycin was utilized as infection prophylaxis, and applied as a liquid solution within the wound prior to closure.RESULTS: Ninety-five consecutive, non-instrumented, pediatric spinal surgeries were completed between 01/2015 and 12/2016, of which the last 68 utilized topical vancomycin. There was a 11.1% SSI rate in the non-topical vancomycin cohort versus 0% in the topical vancomycin cohort (P=0.005). The number needed to treat was 9. There were no significant differences in risk factors for SSI between cohorts. There were no complications associated topical vancomycin use.CONCLUSIONS: Routine topical vancomycin administration during closure of non-instrumented spinal procedures can be a safe and effective tool for reducing SSIs in the pediatric neurosurgical population.
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