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Int Emerg Nurs. 2016 Jul;27:42-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ienj.2015.10.007. Epub 2015 Nov 19.

Bite wounds and antibiotic prescription among patients presenting to an Australian emergency department.

Author information

1
Emergency & Trauma Centre, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.
2
Pharmacy Department, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.
3
Emergency & Trauma Centre, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia; Department of Epidemiology & Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Vic., Australia; National Trauma Research Institute, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia. Electronic address: jwabe2@student.monash.edu.
4
Emergency & Trauma Centre, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia; Department of Epidemiology & Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Vic., Australia; National Trauma Research Institute, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Emergency department presentations after mammalian bites may be associated with injection of bacteria into broken skin and may require prophylactic antibiotics to prevent subsequent infection. We aim to describe the epidemiology of patients presenting with a mammalian bite injury and antibiotic choice to an Australian adult tertiary centre.

METHODS:

A retrospective cohort study was performed capturing all presentations after mammalian bite wounds between 01 Jan 2014 and 31 Dec 2014. An explicit chart review was conducted to determine management of each case. Cases were subgrouped into high- and low-risk groups as defined by the Australian Therapeutic Guidelines for animal bites.

RESULTS:

There were 160 cases of mammalian bite wounds included, with 143 (89.4%) patients grouped as high-risk and 17 (10.6%) patients identified as low-risk. High-risk features were delayed presentation >ā€‰8 hours (57 patients, 35.6%), bites to the head, hand or face (113 patients, 70.6%), and puncture wounds unable to be adequately debrided (74 patients, 46.3%). There was a significant association with delayed presentation of more than eight hours and clinically established infection [OR 36.2; 95% CI: 12.6-103.6; Pā€‰<ā€‰0.001]. Prescriptions for antibiotics that adhered to current guidelines occurred in 99 (61.9%) cases.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study highlights variability in antibiotic prescription practice among clinicians and the need for ongoing education on antibiotic stewardship. Intervention strategies, including ongoing education, are indicated to improve adherence to antibiotic guidelines.

KEYWORDS:

Adherence; Antibiotics; Bites; Emergency department; Therapeutic guidelines; Wounds

PMID:
26777255
DOI:
10.1016/j.ienj.2015.10.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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