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Clindamycin versus cloxacillin in the treatment of 240 open fractures. A randomized prospective study.

Author(s): Vasenius J, Tulikoura I, Vainionpaa S, Rokkanen P

Affiliation(s): Department of Hand Surgery, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland. jarkko.vasenius@kolumbus.fi

Publication date & source: 1998, Ann Chir Gynaecol., 87(3):224-8.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Systemic administration of antibiotics is recommended and has proved to lower infection rates in open fractures. However, no antibiotic has proved to be superior to any other. MATERIAL AND METHODS: In a prospective study 227 patients with 240 open fractures were randomized to receive either clindamycin or cloxacillin for infection prevention. RESULTS: The overall infection rate was 15%. Infection occurred in 9.3% of the clindamycin treated and in 20% of the cloxacillin treated fractures (p < 0.05). In the Gustillo Type I and II open fractures all the pathogens causing infection were gram-positive, while in the Type III open fractures 21 pathogens (57%) were gram-positive and 16 (43%) gram-negative. In the clindamycin treated fractures the infection rates in Type I and II open fractures were 3.3 and 1.8%, respectively, while in the cloxacillin group they were 20 and 3.8%, respectively. Both clindamycin and cloxacillin showed low effectiveness in the treatment of Type III open fractures, the highest infection rates being 75 and 67%, respectively (Type III B). CONCLUSIONS: Clindamycin provides good antimicrobic coverage against the most common pathogens causing Type I and II open fracture infections. In the treatment of Type III open fractures additional administration of an antibiotic with good gram-negative coverage is recommended.

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