Role of systemic antibiotic prophylaxis in acute burns: A retrospective analysis from a tertiary care center

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Muthukumar, Vamseedharan
Arumugam, Praveen Kumar
Bamal, Rahul
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Introduction: Burns is a worldwide problem, majority of them occurs in low and middle-income countries. The hurdles in treatment of burns in the resource restricted setting are much unique and challenging. The role of intravenous antibiotics in reducing mortality and morbidity related to infection and sepsis has not been studied extensively in the Indian sub-continent. Materials and methods: This was a retrospective study that was conducted at a tertiary burn care centre in India over a period of six months with follow up of one month from the day of burn injury. Results: Data from a total of 157 patients were collected and analysed. In Prophylaxis group (n = 77), sepsis was detected in 33 patients and 38 patients expired. In No Prophylaxis group (n = 80), sepsis was detected in 37 patients and 40 patients expired. In Inhalational burns subgroup, patients belonging to prophylaxis group (n = 30) had 20 patients diagnosed with pneumonia while 22 patients did not survive till 30th post burn day. Patients in No Prophylaxis group who had inhalational burns were 38 in number. Pneumonia was diagnosed in 29 of them while 27 did not survive till 30th post burn day. In Pneumonia subgroup, patients belonging to Prophylaxis group had lower mortality rate as compared to No Prophylaxis group. Conclusion: Our study does not support the routine usage of antibiotic prophylaxis in patients with burn injuries, but their administration can be considered in certain specific subgroups like patients with inhalational burns and patients developing pneumonia. Pneumonia is an independent risk factor for mortality when no antibiotic prophylaxis is used in burn patients.

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Clinical sciences

Antibiotic prophylaxis

Inhalational burns

Pneumonia and mortality in burns

Sepsis in burns

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Muthukumar, V; Arumugam, PK; Bamal, R, Role of systemic antibiotic prophylaxis in acute burns: A retrospective analysis from a tertiary care center, Burns, 2020