Best Evidence Topics
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Antibiotics after puncture wounds to the foot

Three Part Question

In [patients presenting with pedal puncture wounds] does the [administration of antibiotics] reduce [infective complications]?

Clinical Scenario

A 32 year old man presents with a pedal puncture wound, which was sustained 4 hours prior to attending the emergency department. You wonder whether antibiotics should be prescribed to reduce infective complications.

Search Strategy

Medline 1966-11/01 using the OVID interface.
[(exp foot injuries OR exp foot OR OR OR OR AND {(exp wounds and injuries OR injur$.mp) AND (penetrate$.mp OR OR exp punctures OR puncture$.mp) OR exp wounds, penetrating)} AND (exp antibiotics OR antibiotic$.mp)] LIMIT to human AND English.LIMIT to human AND english.

Search Outcome

29 papers found none of which were relevant.


While there are many review articles in this area, there appears to be no published evidence to underpin the views expressed.

Clinical Bottom Line

Local advice should be followed.