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Disclaimer: CME certification for these activities has expired. All information is pertinent to the timeframe in which it was released.

Treating and Preventing Intra-Abdominal Infections: An Interactive Discussion

To identify the most effective surgical and pharmacologic strategies for the prevention and treatment of intra-abdominal infections.

This activity is designed for surgeons. No prerequisites required.

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine takes responsibility for the content, quality, and scientific integrity of this CME activity. At the conclusion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Adopt and apply surgical practices that are most effective in the prevention of intra-abdominal infections
  • Assess their surgical environment and evaluate how its characteristics affect practice
  • Identify prophylactic antimicrobial agents with maximal clinical effectiveness
  • Select appropriate first-line antibiotic therapy on a empiric basis

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine designates this educational activity for a maximum of 2 category 1 credits toward the AMA Physician's Recognition Award. Each physician should claim only those credits that he/she actually spent in the activity.

The estimated time to complete this educational activity: 2 hours.

Release date: February 15, 2004. Expiration date: February 15, 2006.

This education activity is a webcast consisting of approximately 2 hours of clinical presentations followed by a CME test.

The opinions and recommendations expressed by faculty and other experts whose input is included in this program are their own. This enduring material is produced for educational purposes only. Use of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine name implies review of educational format design and approach. Please review the complete prescribing information of specific drugs or combinations of drugs, including indications, contraindications, warnings, and adverse effects, before administering pharmacologic therapy to patients.

This program is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Merck & Co, Inc.

Full Disclosure Policy Affecting CME Activities:
As a sponsor accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), it is the policy of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to require the disclosure of the existence of any significant financial interest or any other relationship a faculty member or a sponsor has with the manufacturer(s) of any commercial product(s) discussed in an educational presentation. Program Directors and Participating Faculty reported the following:


    Pamela A. Lipsett, MD, FACS
    Professor of Surgery, Anesthesiology, and Critical Care
    Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
    Baltimore, Maryland


    Philip S. Barie, MD, FACS
    Professor of Surgery
    Professor of Public Health
    Joan and Sanford E. Weill Medical College of Cornell University
    New York, New York

    Donald E. Fry, MD, FACS
    Professor and Chairman
    Department of Surgery
    University of New Mexico
    Albuquerque, New Mexico

Pamela A. Lipsett, MD, FACS, FCCM, reports receiving grants/research support from Bayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Pfizer, Inc, and Wyeth.

Donald E. Fry, MD, FACS, reports receiving grants/research support from Eli Lilly and Company, Merck & Co, Inc, and Pfizer, Inc.

Phillip S. Barie, MD, MBA, FCCM, FACS, reports receiving grants/research support from Merck & Co, Inc, Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceuticals, Inc, and Wyeth; serving as a consultant to AstraZeneca LP, Cubist Pharmaceutical, Elan Corporation, Merck & Co, Inc, Peninsula Pharmaceuticals, Inc, and Wyeth.

Off-Label Product Discussion: No speaker has indicated that their presentation will include information on off-label use of products.

Advanced Studies in Medicine provides disclosure information from contributing authors, lead presenters, and participating faculty.

Serious intra-abdominal infections continue to plague patients and vex surgeons and other caregivers. The overall incidence of surgical site infection (SSI) has been estimated to be 2.8% in the United States, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, although the data tend to underrepresent the true incidence of such infections. The mortality rate for these patients can exceed 20%, and the morbidity associated with severe cases exacts a heavy toll from patients and healthcare centers. The magnitude of the problem is emphasized by some reports, which show that the cost of care for SSIs may consume as much as 0.5% of an annual hospital budget.

Trauma and critical care surgeons face a number of issues when deciding when and how to treat intra-abdominal infections. The challenge of the ever-expanding resistance to antibiotics, which has become a major clinical problem, affects already complex decisions about optimal strategies. For instance, methicillin-resistant and vancomycin-resistant strains of pathogens cause severe morbidity and mortality worldwide and can be considered endemic in many American hospitals, accounting for 29% to 35% of all clinical isolates. Recent studies have documented the increased costs associated with resistant infections, as well as the importance of colonization pressure.

This program intends to present participants with guidelines for the best available surgical, microbiological, and pharmacologic strategies to improve patients' outcomes and reduce the risk of resistance emergence and transmission in hospital facilities. The program will take an interactive approach in trying to gather diverse opinions among participants and faculty about controversial topics, including collaboration/monitoring by infectious disease specialists, best microbiological practices, and assisted prescription techniques.

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