Short-term prophylaxis against infection using cephalothin and
cephalexin was studied in 140 patients operated on for trochanteric
fractures of the femur. The group given the drug during preparation for
anesthesia, intraoperatively, and for two days postoperatively had an
infection rate of 1.8 per cent (one patient), whereas the group without
prophylaxis had a rate of 16.9 per cent (twelve patients). The two groups
were similar with regard to factors that may have influenced the infection
rate, for example, age, time required for surgery, and blood loss.
Staphylococcus aureus was the most common infecting organism, but several
patients had mixed infections with intestinal bacteria.