Assessment of Prophylactic Antibiotic Coverage in Culture-positive Traumatic Open Fractures


Guidelines provide varying recommendations for the prophylactic antimicrobial treatment of open fractures. This single-center, retrospective cohort study was conducted to determine how well an institutional prophylactic antibiotic protocol covered pathogens associated with open fractures. The authors included adult trauma patients with one or more open fractures and a positive culture from the site of the open fracture, and compared outcomes between patients who were covered by prophylactic antibiotics with patients not covered by prophylactic antibiotics. Of 957 patients evaluated, 75 were included, with 40 patients (53%) covered by the prophylactic antibiotics received. Multidrug-resistant pathogens were isolated in 23 (58%) patients covered versus 26 (74%) patients not covered (p = 0.128). The median time to positive culture was less in patients not covered by initial antibiotics compared with those who were covered (30.2 vs. 102.1 days; p = 0.003). Over half of the patients developed cultures with pathogens that were covered by their initial antibiotic prophylaxis. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 33(2):084-087, 2024)

Key words: prophylactic antibiotics, antibiotics, open fracture, infection, multidrug-resistant, trauma

Rachel LaBianca Toler, PharmD; Susan E. Hamblin, PharmD; Lauren E. Mangan, PharmD; J. Myles Keck, PharmD; Austin Ing, PharmD; Matthew Felbinger, PharmD; Cory Collinge, MD; and Bradley M. Dennis, MD