In pediatric burns the use of systemic antibiotic prophylaxis is a standard procedure in some burn centers, though its beneficial effect on the infectious complications is debated. The present meta-analysis aimed at determining whether systemic antibiotic prophylaxis prevents infectious complications in pediatric patients with burn injuries. We searched the PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library databases from inception to August 2019. We included 6 studies, in which event rates of infectious complications were reported in children with burn injuries receiving or not receiving systemic antibiotic prophylaxis. We found that the overall odds ratio (OR) of developing an infection (including local and systemic) was not different between the groups (OR = 1.35; 95% CI, 0.44, 4.18). The chances for systemic infectious complications alone were also not different between antibiotic-treated and non-treated patients (OR = 0.74; 95% CI, 0.38, 1.45). Based on the age, affected total body surface area, and country income level, we did not find any subgroup that benefited from the prophylaxis. Our findings provide quantitative evidence for the inefficacy of systemic antibiotic prophylaxis in preventing infections in pediatric burns. To validate our conclusion, multinational, randomized trials in a diverse population of children with burn injuries are warranted.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)