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Eur J Pediatr Surg. 2004 Dec;14(6):422-6.

Prophylactic antibiotic use in pediatric burn units.

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Department of Pediatric Surgery, Ege University Faculty of Medicine, 35100 Izmir, Turkey.


Prophylactic antibiotic use in childhood burns is controversial. The efficiency of antibiotic prophylaxis in 77 pediatric burn patients was evaluated. Forty-seven patients received prophylactic antibiotics (Group AP), while 30 patients received no prophylaxis (Group NP). Age, wound depth, day of admission, mechanism of burn injury, type of dressings were similar for both groups (p > 0.05). Wound infection rates were 21.3 % in Group AP and 16.7 % in Group NP (p > 0.05). S. aureus, Enterobacter spp., P. aeruginosa, and E. coli were the most common microorganisms. Patients with wound colonization and infection had a larger burned total body surface area (BTBSA) in both groups (p < 0.01). Eight patients had clinical sepsis. All but one of the septic patients were from Group AP. Associated infections of the upper and lower respiratory tract (16), urinary tract (7), and otitis media (2) were more common in Group AP. One patient died from sepsis in Group AP. Hospital stays were longer in Group AP (21.7 +/- 16.4 vs. 13.5 +/- 10 days; p < 0.05). Antibiotic prophylaxis in childhood burns does not reduce the rate of wound infection. Age, wound depth and BTBSA are not critical variables for prophylaxis. Reinforcing the use of culture-specific antibiotics for more beneficial and cost-effective results in the treatment of childhood burns is recommended.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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