Pediatric Prehospital Wound Prophylaxis in Iraq and Afghanistan

Jason F. Naylor, Michael D. April, Guyon J. Hill, Steven G. Schauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Infectious complications of war wounds are a significant source of mortality and morbidity. Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) guidelines recommend prehospital moxifloxacin, ertapenem, or cefotetan for "all open combat wounds." We describe the prehospital administration of antibiotics to pediatric trauma patients. Methods: We queried the Department of Defense Trauma Registry for all pediatric subjects admitted to United States and Coalition fixed-facility hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan from January 2007 to January 2016. Results: During this time, there were 3,439 pediatric encounters which represented 8.0% of all admissions. Prehospital providers administered a total of 216 antibiotic doses to 210 subjects. Older children received antibiotics more frequently than younger children, were more likely to be male, located in Afghanistan, and injured by explosive with the majority surviving to hospital discharge. Cefazolin and ceftriaxone were the most frequently utilized antibiotics. Conclusions: The most frequently administered antibiotics were cephalosporins. TCCC recommended agents for adult prehospital wound prophylaxis were infrequently administered to pediatric casualties. Administration rates of pediatric prehospital wound prophylaxis may be improved with pediatric-specific TCCC guidelines recommending cephalosporins as first-line agents, fielding of a TCCC-oriented Broselow tape, and training prehospital providers on administration of antimicrobials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-76
Number of pages4
JournalMilitary medicine
StatePublished - Jan 7 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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