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Antibiotics in eyelid lacerations

Three Part Question

[In patients with eyelid lacerations] should [antibiotics be given] to [prevent peri-orbital cellulitis]

Clinical Scenario

A 25 year old male attends A&E after a fight in which he sustained a laceration to the eyelid. There are no signs of intra-occular injury. You clean and suture the wound and wonder whether you should cover the wound with prophylactic antibiotics as you have recently seen a case of peri-orbital cellulitis associated with an eyelid wound.

Search Strategy

Medline 1966 to March 2003
(antibiotics and eyelid) or (antibiotics and laceration) or (laceration and eyelid)

Search Outcome

134 articles found of which none were relevant


There are no studies to determine whether patients with eyelid lacerations should receive prophylactic antibiotics to prevent peri-orbital cellulitis.

Clinical Bottom Line

There are no studies to suggest that patients with eyelid lacerations should be treated with prophylactic antibiotics. In the light of this, these wounds should be treated like all other facial lacerations. The wound should be cleaned thoroughly and no prophylactic antibiotics should be given.