To the Editor.—
In a recent study we found that teaching hospitals administer anti-infectives to patients undergoing operations at only a slightly lower rate than nonteaching hospitals. But the rates were surprisingly high for both types of hospitals.The records of 516,064 patients discharged from 1,183 hospitals which participated in the Professional Activity Study (PAS) during 1968 were studied. Each patient studied had one of the following procedures coded as his most important operation: (1) repair of inguinal hernia (40.0), (2) appendectomy (45.1), (3) hemorrhoidectomy (49.3), (4) cholecystectomy (53.5), or (5) total abdominal hysterectomy (72.4).1 The percent of these patients who received sulfa drugs or antibiotics was determined. The data are shown in the Figure with hospitals grouped according to teaching status.A high proportion of the patients in all hospitals received anti-infectives; for example, nearly half of the patients who underwent cholecystectomy and appendectomy received the drugs.