Background: Widespread antibiotic usage has led to an increase in antibiotic resistant bacteria and an increase in allergies to antibiotics. Penicillin antibiotics have been the gold standard for head and neck surgical prophylaxis, but unfortunately, more and more patients have developed allergies to this antibiotic.
Currently, surgical antibiotic prophylaxis for head and neck cancer patients varies from institution to institution, as well as between surgeons of the same institution. To date, no one antibiotic regimen has been found to be superior for treating head and neck cancer patients with penicillin allergies.
Objectives: The purpose of this retrospective research is to evaluate the prophylactic surgical antibiotic regimens used for head and neck cancer resections: specifically in those patients with penicillin allergies. The study will evaluate which antibiotic regimen, if any, provides the lowest rates of post-operative surgical site infections. We hypothesize that subjects with penicillin antibiotic allergies have a higher rate of post-operative surgical site infections after head and neck cancer resections than patients without this allergy.