Skip to content
Medical Health Aged Care


Monash University 2 mins read

Knee and hip replacements are increasing globally due to an ageing population. In Australia over 65,000 knee and 53,000 hip joint replacements are performed were performed in 2022 and the number of people needing a joint replacement is projected to exceed 250,000 people each year in Australia by 2030. In the United States, the number of patients needing a joint replacement will exceed 2.7 million in the next 7 years. Post-surgery infections, while rare at 1-5% of patients, result in high patient morbidity and mortality.

These infections cost Australian hospital over $21,000 per infection, adding an extra $97 million to Australian healthcare costs. In the United States the annual national hospital costs for treating infection are projected to exceed $1.85 billion.

We currently use an antibiotic, cefazolin, at the time of surgery to prevent infection. But with the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria, experts have debated whether adding a second antibiotic, vancomycin, would be better to prevent more infection. Vancomycin is a commonly used antibiotic for MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or “golden Staph”). Many centres in Australia and globally had adopted the practice of giving both cefazolin and vancomycin to prevent infections, despite the lack of clear benefit.

Now a clinical trial, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine and led by Monash University researchers, in collaboration with orthopaedic surgeons and infectious diseases doctors, has found that the addition of vancomycin did not protect against infection and may have led to more infections and more adverse reactions for the patients.

According to the study lead, Professor Trisha Peel, from the Monash University Central Clinical School, “Given the number of joint replacements performed in Australia and globally, our trial has answered the important about whether more antibiotics are better for our patients having joint replacement surgery: with the definitive answer being “no”. This trial will have a significant impact on practice,” she said

The Australian Surgical Antibiotic Prophylaxis (ASAP) trial looked at 4239 patients without a history of MRSA, in 11 hospitals across Australia, including regional and private hospitals.  Patients were randomised to receive receive either vancomycin or saline placebo, in combination with cefazolin. Among all patients, the addition of vancomycin was no better than the traditional cefazolin antibiotic. Unexpectedly, in patients undergoing knee joint replacement, the risk of infection was higher in the vancomycin group, 5.7%, than in the placebo group, with 3.7% infection rate.

Professor Peel said that the study reflects how important these large, randomised, multi-centre clinical trials are “"A lot of things seem to make sense, but we don't really know for sure until they are tested in a clinical trial.” Prof Peel said “This is one of those cases - more antibiotics weren't better, and in some people might have actually been worse.",” she said.

Contact details:

Tania Ewing 0408378422;

More from this category

  • Medical Health Aged Care
  • 26/02/2024
  • 00:05
Monash University

Clearer and faster: 5-minute MRI’s on the horizon

A 5-minute full-body MRI scan could soon become a reality with the help of a promising new AI method developed by Monash University engineers. In a study published in Computers in Biology and Medicine, researchers have shown how their novel AI technology, McSTRA, outperformed state-of-the-art methods, producing enhanced clinic imaging in record time. MRI scans can take up to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the area being scanned. The new software was capable of completing scans 10-times faster than current MRI technology, giving it the potential to reduce scan times to just minutes and boost the number of…

  • Medical Health Aged Care
  • 25/02/2024
  • 04:30
Dementia Australia

Join us TODAY for the Canberra Memory Walk & Jog

What: Dementia Australia’sCanberraMemory Walk & Jog When: Sunday 25 February 2024, from 7.30am Who: More than 800 locals participating on the day. People who have been impacted by dementia, their family, friends and carers. Where: Barrine Drive, Lake Burley Griffin For more information visit: Walk or jog with us. We are in this together. Dementia Australia is the source of trusted information, education and services for the estimated more than 421,000 Australians living with dementia, and the more than 1.6 million people involved in their care. We advocate for positive change and support vital research. We are here to…

  • Contains:
  • Medical Health Aged Care
  • 24/02/2024
  • 07:07
CGFNS International

CGFNS International Unveils New Think Tank to Advance Health Workforce Development Scholarship and Solutions Worldwide?

PHILADELPHIA, PA / ACCESSWIRE / February 23, 2024 / CGFNS International announced today it has established a Global Health Workforce Development Institute. The new think tank will conduct original research and leverage knowledge developed by CGFNS over its half-century of providing credentialing services -- as well as its vast experience with workforce mobility issues -- to advance scientific knowledge about the evolution of health workforce roles and the development of credentialing and certification programs and policies.CGFNS International A long-term objective of the Institute will be to create rigorous global certification programs that streamline the assessment and recognition of practice competency.…

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.