Early antibiotic administration after trauma reduces infection rates of open wounds. A clinical practice guideline (CPG) was created to ensure that wounded personnel who are not expected to arrive at the hospital within an hour receive antibiotic treatment in the field. This study evaluated how well-advanced life saver (ALS) providers complied with Israeli Defense Force (IDF) CPG.
Materials and Methods
A retrospective review of all trauma patients between November 2011 and January 2015 was conducted. All casualties who suffered from penetrating injuries with evacuation times greater than 60 min were examined. Casualties who should have received antibiotic treatment in accordance with the IDF CPG were further divided into those who received antibiotics (i.e., “Antibiotic” group) and those who did not receive antibiotic treatment (i.e., “No Antibiotics” group).
For a 3-yr period, a total of 5,142 casualties occurred in the pre-hospital environment. According to parameters established in the CPG, 600 casualties should have received antibiotic treatment. Of these patients, only 49 (8.2%) received antibiotic treatment. Comparative analysis between these groups revealed no significant differences in regards to gender, age, and time to MTF; however, significant differences were found in regards to injury severity score (ISS) (p < 0.01), care under fire (i.e., treatment at a combat zone) criteria (p < 0.00001), and life-saving interventions (p < 0.005).
Although the reasons for poor adherence to IDF CPG’s are not entirely clear, the data suggest that the severity of the injuries sustained by these casualties requiring a greater number of LSIs, longer evacuation distances, and a more hostile battlefield environment may each contribute to poor adherence. Since this has been identified as a training gap, the importance of antibiotic administration at point of injury in delayed evacuation scenarios has been reinforced.
Journal Article. 4063 words. Illustrated.
Subjects: Medicine and Health ; Emergency Medicine ; Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery ; Military Psychology ; Warfare and Defence
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