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Br J Surg. 1997 Jun;84(6):848-53.

Randomized placebo-controlled trial of teicoplanin in the antibiotic prophylaxis of infection following manipulation of burn wounds.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Microbiology, University College London Hospitals, UK.



Burn wound surgery or change of dressings commonly causes bacteraemia. The use of antibiotic prophylaxis has not been tested adequately in a controlled trial.


A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study was performed to determine the effect on Gram-positive bacteraemia and clinical outcome of a single dose of teicoplanin (12 mg/kg intravenously) given at burns surgery or change of dressings.


A total of 134 patients were entered into the study, representing 220 episodes of dressing or debridement (110 episodes in each group). There was a significant difference between the groups with respect to perioperative Gram-positive bacteraemia: eight episodes (7 per cent) in the teicoplanin group versus 51 (46 per cent) in the placebo group (P < 0.001). However, good clinical outcome was similar in both groups (80 of 110 versus 77 of 110 respectively, P = 0.7). Only eleven patients had bacteraemia caused by Gram-negative species alone. Bacteriological response in terms of wound culture showed no significant difference between the groups: 63 (57 per cent) of 110 episodes versus 58 (53 per cent) of 110 respectively respectively.


Prevention of Gram-positive bacteraemia did not affect postoperative recovery.

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