Infections After Open Fractures in Pediatric Patients: A Review of 288 Open Fractures


We reviewed pediatric open fractures treated at a large Level 1 children’s trauma center to determine the rate of infection after open fractures, potential risk factors for infection, and the rate of infection caused by antibiotic-resistant organisms. A retrospective review identified 288 open fractures in children 1 to 17 years of age. Post-traumatic infections developed in 24 (8.3%) open fractures. There was no significant association between the development of infection and mechanism of injury (p = 0.33), time to surgical debridement (p = 0.93), or type of empiric antibiotic given (p = 0.66). Infection occurred more frequently in overweight and obese patients (odds ratio = 2.22; 95% confidence interval: 0.93, 5.46, p = 0.07). There was one infection (4.2%) caused by methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The most commonly identified organisms on culture were methicillin-sensitive staphylococcus aureus (n = 3) and pseudomonas (n = 3). Obesity is a significant risk factor for the development of infection after an open fracture in the pediatric population. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 31(2):073–075, 2022)

Key words: open fracture, pediatric patients, risk factors, infecting organism, obesity, treatment

Derek Kelly, MD; Benjamin Sheffer, MD; Robert Elrod, MD; Lauren Piana; Naveen Pattisapu, MD; Vikki Nolan, MD; David Spence, MD; and Jeffrey Sawyer, MD