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Ryan E. Radwanski, Brandon R. Christophe, Josephine U. Pucci, Moises A. Martinez, Michael Rothbaum, Emilia Bagiella, Franklin D. Lowy, Jared Knopman, and E. Sander Connolly Jr.

OBJECTIVE

Postoperative surgical site infections (SSIs) in neurosurgical patients carry a significant risk of increased morbidity and mortality. With SSIs accounting for approximately 20% of nosocomial infections and costing approximately $1.6 billion USD annually, there is a need for additional prophylaxis to improve current standards of care. Topical vancomycin is increasingly utilized in instrumented spinal and cardiothoracic procedures, where it has been shown to reduce the risk of SSIs. A randomized controlled trial assessing its efficacy in the general neurosurgical population is currently underway. Here, the authors report their initial impressions of topical vancomycin safety among patients enrolled during the 1st year of the trial.

METHODS

This prospective, multicenter, patient-blinded, randomized controlled trial will enroll 2632 patients over 5 years. Here, the authors report the incidence of adverse events, the degree of systemic vancomycin absorption in treated patients, and pattern changes of antibiotic-resistant profiles of Staphylococcus aureus flora among patients enrolled during the 1st year.

RESULTS

The topical vancomycin treatment group comprised 257 patients (514 total enrolled patients), of whom 2 exhibited weakly positive serum levels of vancomycin (> 3.0 mg/dl). S. aureus was detected preoperatively in the anterior nares of 35 (18.1%) patients and the skin near the surgical site of 9 (4.7%). Colonization in the nares remained for many patients (71.4%) through postoperative day 30. The authors found a significant association between preoperative S. aureus colonization and postoperative colonization. Seven methicillin-resistant isolates were detected among 6 different patients. Two isolates were detected preoperatively, and 5 were de novo postoperative colonization. No adverse responses to treatment have been reported to date.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors’ data indicate that the use of topical vancomycin is safe with no significant adverse effects and minimal systemic absorption, and no development of vancomycin-resistant microorganisms.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT02284126 (clinicaltrials.gov)

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Stephen G. Bowden, Dominic A. Siler, Maryam N. Shahin, David J. Mazur-Hart, Daniel N. Munger, Miner N. Ross, Brannan E. O’Neill, Caleb S. Nerison, Michael Rothbaum, Seunggu J. Han, James M. Wright, Josiah N. Orina, Jesse L. Winer, and Nathan R. Selden

OBJECTIVE

To comply with the removal of the 88-hour week exemption and to support additional operative experience during junior residency, Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) switched from a night-float call schedule to a modified 24-hour call schedule on July 1, 2019. This study compared the volumes of clinical, procedural, and operative cases experienced by postgraduate year 2 (PGY-2) and PGY-3 residents under these systems.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively studied billing and related clinical records, call schedules, and Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education case logs for PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents at OHSU, a tertiary academic health center, for the first 4 months of the academic years from 2017 to 2020. The authors analyzed the volumes of new patient consultations, bedside procedures, and operative procedures performed by each PGY-2 and PGY-3 resident during these years, comparing the volumes experienced under each call system.

RESULTS

Changing from a PGY-2 resident–focused night-float call system to a 24-hour call system that was more evenly distributed between PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents resulted in decreased volume of new patient consultations, increased volume of operative procedures, and no change in volume of bedside procedures for PGY-2 residents. PGY-3 residents experienced a decrease in operative procedure volume under the 24-hour call system.

CONCLUSIONS

Transition from a night-float system to a 24-hour call system altered the distribution of clinical and procedural experiences between PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents. Further research is necessary to understand the impact of these changes on educational outcomes, quality and safety of patient care, and resident satisfaction.