Antibiotic prophylaxis for traumatic facial fractures

Brian L. Erstad, Brian J. Kopp, Andrew L. Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


What is known and objective: The purpose of this paper is to discuss the limitations of the evidence supporting the SIS recommendations for antibiotic prescribing in patients with traumatic facial fractures and to provide suggestions for clinical decision-making and further research in this area given the wide variation in prescribing practices. Comment: The Surgical Infection Society (SIS) recently published guidelines on antibiotic use in patients with traumatic facial fractures. The guidelines recommend against the use of prophylactic antibiotics for all adult patients with mandibular or non-mandibular facial fractures undergoing non-operative or operative procedures. Despite the available evidence, surveys conducted in the United States and the United Kingdom prior to the publication of the SIS guidelines demonstrate substantial preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative prophylactic prescribing of antibiotics for patients with facial fractures undergoing surgery. What is new and conclusion: With the exception of strong recommendations based on moderate-quality evidence to avoid prolonged postoperative antibiotic prophylaxis, the weak recommendations in the guidelines are a function of low-quality evidence. A logical choice for a narrow-spectrum antibiotic is cefazolin administered within 1 h of surgery and no longer than 24 h after surgery, since it is the gold standard of comparison based on clinical practice guidelines concerning antibiotic prophylaxis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)386-395
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • antibiotic prophylaxis
  • facial fracture
  • surgical site infection
  • traumatic
  • wound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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