Introduction: We examined antibiotic management of combat-related extremity wound infections (CEWI) among wounded U.S. military personnel (2009-2012). Methods: Patients were included if they sustained blast injuries, resulting in ≥1 open extremity wound, were admitted to participating U.S. hospitals, developed a CEWI (osteomyelitis or deep soft-tissue infections) within 30 days post-injury, and received ≥3 days of relevant antibiotic (s) for treatment. Results: Among 267 patients, 133 (50%) had only a CEWI, while 134 (50%) had a CEWI plus concomitant non-extremity infection. In the pre-diagnosis period (4-10 days prior to CEWI diagnosis), 95 (36%) patients started a new antibiotic with 28% of patients receiving ≥2 antibiotics. During CEWI diagnosis week (±3 days of diagnosis), 209 (78%) patients started a new antibiotic (71% with ≥2 antibiotics). In the week following diagnosis (4-10 days after CEWI diagnosis), 121 (45%) patients started a new antibiotic with 39% receiving ≥2 antibiotics. Restricting to ±7 days of CEWI diagnosis, patients commonly received two (35%) or three (27%) antibiotics with frequent combinations involving carbapenem, vancomycin, and fluoroquinolones. Conclusions: Substantial variation in antibiotic prescribing patterns related to CEWIs warrants development of combat-related clinical practice guidelines beyond infection prevention, to include strategies to reduce the use of unnecessary antibiotics and improve stewardship.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health