The incidence and consequences of early wound infection after internal fixation for trauma in HIV-positive patients

J. Bates, N. Mkandawire, W. J. Harrison

Abstract

We report a prospective single-blind controlled study of the incidence of early wound infection after internal fixation for trauma in 609 patients, of whom 132 were HIV-positive. Wounds were assessed for healing using the ASEPSIS score. There was no significant difference in the rate of infection between HIV-positive and HIV-negative patients undergoing clean surgery (4.2% vs 6%, respectively; p = 0.65). HIV-positive patients did not receive additional antibiotic prophylaxis or antiretroviral therapy as part of their management. The difference in the rate of infection between HIV-positive and HIV-negative patients with an open fracture or other contamination was not significant (33% vs 15%, respectively; p = 0.064). There was no relationship between CD4 count and infection rate. HIV status did not significantly influence the number of secondary surgical procedures (p = 0.183) or the likelihood of developing chronic osteomyelitis (p = 0.131). Although previous contamination from the time of injury was a risk factor for infection in mal- and nonunions, it was not significantly increased in HIV-positive patients (p = 0.144).

We conclude that clean implant surgery in HIV-positive patients is safe, with no need for additional prophylaxis.

Footnotes

  • The authors would like to thank Mr P. Chidothi and Mr E. Ngoma for their help with this study.

    Although none of the authors has received or will receive benefits for personal or professional use from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article, benefits have been or will be received but will be directed solely to a research fund, foundation, educational institution, or other non- profit organization with which one or more of the authors are associated.

  • Received December 19, 2011.
  • Accepted May 22, 2012.
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