Antibiotics administration before enema reduction of intussusception: is it necessary?
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BACKGROUND: Some centers advocate using antibiotics before enema reduction to prevent septic complications. Our objective was to determine whether using antibiotics before reduction provided any improvement in outcomes. METHODS: With institutional review board approval, patients from 2 centers were compared: 1 where antibiotics were administered, and one where they were not. This retrospective cohort study from January 2005 to December 2010 evaluated demographic data, episodes of postreduction fever, hospital stay, and analgesia requirements. RESULTS: One hundred eighteen patients were identified: 83 males (70.3%) and 35 females (29.7%). The median age was 24 months (range, 1-180). Fifty-six patients (57.7%) received antibiotics, whereas 41 (42.7%) did not. Twenty-one patients (17.8%) had missing data and were excluded. The incidence of fever postreduction was not statistically different between groups: 12.8% for those who received antibiotics vs 17.9% for those who did not (P = .7367). No adverse antibiotic reactions were reported. Average time to oral feeds was 7.3 vs 10.6 hours (P = .06), and the length of stay was 1.7 vs 1.4 days (P = .07). CONCLUSION: Although antibiotics are administered routinely in some centers, they appear of little value. Financial costs and potential adverse reactions must be considered. Further prospective evaluation is being conducted using a larger sample size to confirm these results.
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