Prevention of Infections Associated With Combat-Related Extremity Injuries

Infectious Disease Service, San Antonio Military Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas 78234, USA.
The Journal of trauma (Impact Factor: 2.96). 08/2011; 71(2 Suppl 2):S235-57. DOI: 10.1097/TA.0b013e318227ac5f
Source: PubMed


During combat operations, extremities continue to be the most common sites of injury with associated high rates of infectious complications. Overall, ∼ 15% of patients with extremity injuries develop osteomyelitis, and ∼ 17% of those infections relapse or recur. The bacteria infecting these wounds have included multidrug-resistant bacteria such as Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Klebsiella species and Escherichia coli, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. The goals of extremity injury care are to prevent infection, promote fracture healing, and restore function. In this review, we use a systematic assessment of military and civilian extremity trauma data to provide evidence-based recommendations for the varying management strategies to care for combat-related extremity injuries to decrease infection rates. We emphasize postinjury antimicrobial therapy, debridement and irrigation, and surgical wound management including addressing ongoing areas of controversy and needed research. In addition, we address adjuvants that are increasingly being examined, including local antimicrobial therapy, flap closure, oxygen therapy, negative pressure wound therapy, and wound effluent characterization. This evidence-based medicine review was produced to support the Guidelines for the Prevention of Infections Associated With Combat-Related Injuries: 2011 Update contained in this supplement of Journal of Trauma.

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    • "The use of antimicrobial agents active against MRSA and MSSA could have a major impact on the care of casualties on the battlefield or those injured during natural disasters or humanitarian relief operations. Due to the high rate of infections associated with combat-related injuries, a standard practice is to initiate antimicrobial therapy at the time of injury [32-34]. Oral moxifloxacin is currently the recommended field antimicrobial for the US military unless there is an intraabdominal injury, for which ertapenem is recommended [33]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Staphylococcus aureus [methicillin-resistant and methicillin-susceptible (MRSA/MSSA)] is a leading cause of infections in military personnel, but there are limited data regarding baseline colonization of individuals while deployed. We conducted a pilot study to screen non-deployed and deployed healthy military service members for MRSA/MSSA colonization at various anatomic sites and assessed isolates for molecular differences. Colonization point-prevalence of 101 military personnel in the US and 100 in Afghanistan was determined by swabbing 7 anatomic sites. US-based individuals had received no antibiotics within 30 days, and Afghanistan-deployed personnel were taking doxycycline for malaria prophylaxis. Isolates underwent identification and testing for antimicrobial resistance, virulence factors, and pulsed-field type (PFT). 4 individuals in the US (4 isolates- 3 oropharynx, 1 perirectal) and 4 in Afghanistan (6 isolates- 2 oropharynx, 2 nare, 1 hand, 1 foot) were colonized with MRSA. Among US-based personnel, 3 had USA300 (1 PVL+) and 1 USA700. Among Afghanistan-based personnel, 1 had USA300 (PVL+), 1 USA800 and 2 USA1000. MSSA was present in 40 (71 isolates-25 oropharynx, 15 nare) of the US-based and 32 (65 isolates- 16 oropharynx, 24 nare) of the Afghanistan-based individuals. 56 (79%) US and 41(63%) Afghanistan-based individuals had MSSA isolates recovered from extra-nare sites. The most common MSSA PFTs were USA200 (9 isolates) in the US and USA800 (7 isolates) in Afghanistan. MRSA/MSSA isolates were susceptible to doxycycline in all but 3 personnel (1 US, 2 Afghanistan; all were MSSA isolates that carried tetM). MRSA and MSSA colonization of military personnel was not associated with deployment status or doxycycline exposure. Higher S. aureus oropharynx colonization rates were observed and may warrant changes in decolonization practices.
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    ABSTRACT: Prolonged courses of broad-spectrum antibiotics are often cited as the standard of care for prevention of infective complications of open fractures. The origins of these recommendations are obscure, however, and multi-drug-resistant systemic infections attributable to antibiotic overuse are common life-threatening problems in current intensive care unit practice. To review systematically the effects of prophylactic antibiotic administration on the incidence of infections complicating open fractures. Computerized bibliographic search of published research and citation review of relevant articles. All published clinical trials claiming to evaluate, or cited elsewhere as being authoritative regarding, the role of antibiotics in open fracture management were identified and then evaluated according to published guidelines for evidence-based medicine. Only small studies (<20 patients), practice surveys, pharmacokinetic studies, and reviews or duplicative publications presenting primary data already considered were excluded from analysis. Information on demographics, study dates, fracture grade, antibiotic type, duration and route of administration, surgical interventions, infection-related outcomes, and the methodologic quality of the studies was extracted by the authors. The primary results were submitted to the Therapeutic Agents Committee of the Surgical Infection Society for review prior to creation of the final consensus document. Current antibiotic management of open fractures is based on a small number of studies that generally are more than 30 years old and do not reflect current management priorities in trauma and critical care. With a few noteworthy exceptions, these primary studies suffer from a variety of methodologic problems, including co-mingling of prospective and retrospective data sets, absence of or inappropriate statistical analysis, lack of blinding, or failure of randomization. The data support the conclusion that a short course of first-generation cephalosporins, begun as soon as possible after injury, significantly lowers the risk of infection when used in combination with prompt, modern orthopedic fracture wound management. There is insufficient evidence to support other common management practices, such as prolonged courses or repeated short courses of antibiotics, the use of antibiotic coverage extending to gram-negative bacilli or clostridial species, or the use of local antibiotic therapies such as beads. Large, randomized, blinded trials are needed to prove or disprove the value of these traditional approaches. Such trials should be performed in patients with high-grade fractures who (1) are well-stratified according to the degree of local injury and (2) undergo standardized fracture and wound management. Trials also must be powered to study the effects of extended antibiotic coverage on nosocomial infections. Antibiotic regimens confirmed to improve local fracture outcomes in such studies could then be used rationally, balancing the risks of local fracture-related infections and of multi-drug-resistant systemic infections to achieve optimal global outcomes.
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