Daniel J.G. Thirion receives prix Innovation 2019 from L’Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec

MUHC pharmacist improved the prevention of surgical site infections by adopting a new strategy for antibiotic usage.

MONTRÉAL, November 6, 2019 — Daniel J.G. Thirion, Pharmacist at The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), was recognized by l’Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec, taking home the prix Innovation 2019 for his work which contributed to significantly lowering surgical site infection rates at the MUHC.

“Daniel Thirion is recognized as a leader in the field of antibiotic stewardship, not just in Québec but in all of Canada,” says Mr. Bertrand Bolduc, president of l’Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec.

Combined with interventions in infection control, Thirion’s efforts resulted in a four to five-time reduction of rates of surgical site infections – which occur at the site of a surgical incision – and decreasing hospital stays, treatment costs, and moreover, the number of deaths related to infection.

Collaboration is key

These results are the fruits of impressive collaborations led by Thirion, who recruited pharmacy residents to help compile and analyze infield data of nine specialty surgeries. Thirion was approached by Dr. Charles Frenette, director of Infection prevention and control at the MUHC, to help establish and enforce new antibiotic prophylaxis in surgery protocols. This new strategy of infection prevention consisted of administering an antibiotic before the surgical incision.

“We very quickly put in motion several practices to successfully lower infection rates in the operation room,” says Thirion. “We wrote a guide that lays out different antibiotic choices that can be used to prevent infections and we produced pre-printed order forms. In the OR, we ensured nurses documented details about antibiotic usage – name and dosage, for instance – at the moment they were administered.”

Less is more

Antibiotic prophylaxis in surgery is an approach that, itself alone, reduces surgical site infection rates by 50 percent.

Daniel Thirion (left) is saluted by Mr. Bertrand Bolduc (right), President of l'Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec.

“By preventing infection, we reduce the usage of antibiotics and as a result, the emergence of resistance,” explains Thirion. “This is extraordinary progress for the healthcare field in general.”

About the McGill University Health Centre

The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) is one of the world’s foremost academic health facilities. Building on the tradition of medical leadership of its founding hospitals, the MUHC provides exceptional multidisciplinary patient-centric care. Affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine of McGill University, the MUHC continues to shape the course of adult and pediatric medicine by attracting clinical and research expertise from around the world, assessing the latest in medical technology, and training the next generation of medical professionals. In collaboration with our network partners, we are building a better future for our patients and their families; for our employees, professionals, researchers and students; for our community and above all, for life. www.muhc.ca 

For information: 

Amanda Vitaro
Communications Agent – Media relations
McGill University Health Centre
438-346-0304  (cell)
514-934-1934 ext. 34319 (office)
[email protected]