Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Document Type

Major Paper


School of Nursing



Date of Original Version



Colorectal surgery is known for having a high risk of surgical site infection (SSI). Prior research has suggested that administering prophylactic antibiotics prior to colorectal surgery may prevent SSI. This led to the question: In adult surgical patients having colorectal surgeries, does prophylactic antibiotic administration time effect surgical site infection rates within 30 days of surgery? A comprehensive literature review was completed followed by a detailed screening for inclusion and exclusion criteria, resulting in a final total of nine studies. Detailed data were collected for each study, followed by completion of critical appraisal checklists appropriate to the study design. Quality of the evidence was assessed across studies. Six of the studies were cohort studies, with only two randomized controlled trials and one systematic review. Results indicated that there is insufficient evidence to support a definite course of action for timing of antibiotic prophylaxis for colorectal surgery. The certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) should be aware of the recommendations to administer antibiotics for colorectal surgery before the surgical incision based on the results of this systematic review as timing of administration can affect SSI rates. It is recommended to carefully consider antibiotic selection and timing when administering antibiotics for colorectal surgery.