Friday, September 22, 2006

Prophylactic antibiotic use in open fractures: an evidence-based guideline.

Prophylactic antibiotic use in open fractures: an evidence-based guideline.

Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2006 Aug;7(4):379-405

Department of Surgery, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey.


Prolonged courses of broad-spectrum antibiotics are often cited as the standard of care for prevention of infective complications of open fractures. The origins of these recommendations are obscure, however, and multi-drug-resistant systemic infections attributable to antibiotic overuse are common life-threatening problems in current intensive care unit practice.


To review systematically the effects of prophylactic antibiotic administration on the incidence of infections complicating open fractures.

Data Sources:

Computerized bibliographic search of published research and citation review of relevant articles.

Study Selection:

All published clinical trials claiming to evaluate, or cited elsewhere as being authoritative regarding, the role of antibiotics in open fracture management were identified and then evaluated according to published guidelines for evidence-based medicine. Only small studies (<20>

Data Extraction:

Information on demographics, study dates, fracture grade, antibiotic type, duration and route of administration, surgical interventions, infection-related outcomes, and the methodologic quality of the studies was extracted by the authors. The primary results were submitted to the Therapeutic Agents Committee of the Surgical Infection Society for review prior to creation of the final consensus document.

Data Synthesis:

Current antibiotic management of open fractures is based on a small number of studies that generally are more than 30 years old and do not reflect current management priorities in trauma and critical care. With a few noteworthy exceptions, these primary studies suffer from a variety of methodologic problems, including commingling of prospective and retrospective data sets, absence of or inappropriate statistical analysis, lack of blinding, or failure of randomization.

PMID: 16978082 [PubMed - in process]