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July 1968

Topical Spray of Antibiotics in Simulated Combat Wounds: IV. Dose Factor

Author Affiliations

Washington, DC
From the Division of Surgery, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC.

Arch Surg. 1968;97(1):61-67. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1968.01340010091009

HIGH VELOCITY missile wounds usually are characterized by a large amount of devitalized tissue. Previous reports from this institute indicated that spraying oxytetracycline (Terramycin) topically on large contaminated crush wounds of the thighs of rabbits significantly reduced mortality.1 This study indicated that maximum effect of maintaining bacterial counts at low levels and reducing the hazard of infection was obtained when the oxytetracycline was sprayed within five minutes after injury, whereas minimum benefit was noted from spraying the wounds with oxytetracycline four hours or more after injury.

Oxytetracycline showed superior results in preventing mortality compared to a neomycin-bacitracin-polymyxin B mixture when topically used on a contaminated crush wound of a rabbit's thigh, although antibiotic sensitivity tests revealed no significant differences in sensitivity of the microorganisms to either antibiotic spray preparation.

This paper describes the various factors which might contribute to the difference in efficacy of the two antibiotic sprays.


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