Antibiotics administered before the contamination of previously sterile tissues or fluids are considered prophylactic. The goal of prophylactic antibiotics is to prevent an infection from developing.
Presumptive antibiotic therapy is administered when an infection is suspected but not yet proven. Therapeutic antibiotics are required for established infection.
Surgical-site infections (SSIs) are classified as either incisional (e.g., cellulitis of the incision site) or involving an organ or space (e.g., with meningitis). Incisional SSIs may be superficial (skin or subcutaneous tissue) or deep (fascial and muscle layers). Both types, by definition, occur by postoperative day 30. This period extends to 1 year in the case of deep infection, associated with prosthesis implantation.
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