One discussion this week involved the use of antibiotics in thoracostomy.
Reference: Moore FO et al. Presumptive antibiotic use in tube thoracostomy for traumatic hemopneumothorax: An Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma practice management guideline. 2012. Retrieved from: https://www.east.org/education/practice-management-guidelines/tube-thoracostomy-presumptive-antibiotics-in
Summary: A systematic review was done by 10 acute care surgeons and one statistician to update the 1998 guidelines for EAST. Routine presumptive antibiotic use to reduce the incidence of empyema and pneumonia in tube thoracostomy (TT) for traumatic hemopneumothorax is controversial. Moore et al (2012) conclude that there is insufficient published evidence to support any recommendation either for or against this practice. The authors further state that “until a large and likely multicenter, randomized, controlled trial can be performed, the routine practice of presumptive antibiotics in TT for chest trauma will remain controversial.”
Additionally, the authors are unable to recommend an optimal duration of antibiotic prophylaxis when antibiotics are administered for traumatic hemopneumothorax because there are insufficient published data to support the routine use of antibiotics.
Additional Reading: Department of Surgical Education, Orlando Regional Medical Center. Chest Tube Management. 2016 Sept 8. Retrieved from http://www.surgicalcriticalcare.net/Guidelines/Chest%20tube%20management%202016.pdf