Document Type : Original Article


1 Emergency Medicine Research Center, Shariati Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Prehospital and Hospital Emergency Medicine Research Center, Tehran, Iran

3 Internal Medicine Department, Shariati Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Objective: Hand lacerations are among the most frequent causes of visiting emergency
departments (EDs). Wound infection is one of its complications. There is still an ongoing
disagreement on the administration of oral versus intravenous (IV) antibiotics (ABs). The
objective of this study is to compare the effectiveness of oral versus IV ABs in preventing
wound infection of hand lacerations.
Methods: In this double-blind, randomized clinical trial, we enrolled all patients with hand
lacerations (based on the inclusion criteria) during 6 months in the EDs of 2 tertiary referral
centers. Convenient sampling was done. Finally, in the first group, 382 patients received
oral AB (two 500 mg cephalexin capsules) and the other 382 patients in the second group
received IV AB (1 gr IV cefazolin) before wound management. Both groups were followed
and received oral cephalexin during 48 hours after suturing. Rates of wound infection and
different complications were compared between the two groups. T-test, Mann-Whitney U
test, Chi square and Fisher analysis were used.
Results: Both groups had the same age and gender distribution rate (79.8% of males with
the mean age of 30.8 years in the first group, and 83.5% of males with the mean age of 32.6
years in the second group (P = 0.19 and 0.39, respectively). In our study, wound infection
developed in 2.6% and 1.8% of patients in the first and second groups, respectively (P =
Conclusion: Based on the results of this study, oral and IV ABs were not significantly
different in terms of preventing wound infection


Main Subjects