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Med J Malaysia. 2001 Jun;56(2):201-6.

Bacteriological study and its role in the management of open tibial fracture.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedics, School of Medical Science HUSM, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan.


Sixty percent of open fracture wounds are contaminated at the time of injury. Despite that, the necessity for sequential multiple cultures and sensitivity studies for open fractures and their interpretation are still controversial. Predebridement, intraoperative, postoperative swabs and swabs in established infection for culture and sensitivity study were taken in 33 open tibial fractures over a 6 months period. 39.3% of predebridement swabs grew bacteria with the majority yielding gram-positive organism. None of the patients developed infection with similar organisms. 24.2% of the postoperative swabs grew bacteria, of which 75% were gram-negative. 50% of the patients with positive postoperative swabs developed infection. Thus, the role of sequential multiple cultures and sensitivity studies are not helpful in management of open fracture.

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