Strategies in Trauma and Limb Reconstruction

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VOLUME 7 , ISSUE 1 ( April, 2012 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

The relationship between time to surgical debridement and incidence of infection in grade III open fractures

Jagwant Singh, Rohit Rambani, Zaid Hashim, Raghu Raman, Hemant Kumar Sharma

Keywords : Grade III open fractures, Debridement, Infection rate

Citation Information : Singh J, Rambani R, Hashim Z, Raman R, Sharma HK. The relationship between time to surgical debridement and incidence of infection in grade III open fractures. 2012; 7 (1):33-37.

DOI: 10.1007/s11751-012-0130-y

License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Published Online: 30-04-2012

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2012; Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd.


Abstract

Objective The purpose of this study was to determine the association between time to initial debridement and infection rate in high-energy (grade III) open fractures of tibia. Methods All patients presenting with open fractures were included in the study. The inclusion criteria were Gustilo III A, B and C open fractures of tibia. Time of injury, time of arrival to the hospital, time of initial debridement and subsequent soft tissue procedures were recorded. The primary outcome measure was a diagnosis of infection or osteomyelitis at 1 year. Secondary outcome measure was fracture union at 1 year. Results Sixty-seven (67) patients with grade III open fractures were included; the mean age was 32.4 years (54 males and 13 females). Eight patients (12 %) in this study went on to develop a deep infection, and there were 6 (8.4 %) non-unions. The infection rate for patients in the group who underwent debridement in less than 6 h and those greater than 6 h was 13.1 and 10.8 %, respectively. No statistically significant difference could be demonstrated between the two groups (p = 0.56). While there was no significant relationship between grade of fracture and infection rate (p = 0.07), the relationship between grade of fracture and non-union was significant (p = 0.02). Conclusion Our study shows that the risk of developing an infection was not increased if the primary surgical management was delayed more than 6 h after injury. Therefore, reasonable delays in surgical treatment for patients with open fractures may be justified in order to provide an optimal operating environment.


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