Different countries have different wound treatment traditions. We have studied the incidence and different factors related to infections in wound injuries sutured at a Norwegian A&E department.
In this prospective study, clinical data were collected on 102 patients with traumatic wound injuries treated with sutures at Bergen Accident and Emergency Department between 30 February 2011 and 30 June 2011. Any wound infections in 97 of these patients at the time of suture removal were assessed and classified according to severity on a scale of grade 0 to grade 4.
There were no serious infections, but mild clinical wound infections occurred in 15% of patients: 11% grade 1 and 4% grade 2 infections. Patients less than 65 years old had often cut themselves with knives (n = 33, 37%), and on their hands (n = 60, 67%), Men were most frequently injured at work (n = 38, 54%) and women most often at home (n = 18, 56%). No statistically significant correlation was found between the incidence of wound infections and the length of the wound, the time elapsed before suturing, the wound's location on the body, contamination or underlying chronic diseases. Two of the three self-inflictors in our study had clinical wound infections. Half of the bacteriological samples from ten of 15 wounds with clinical infection had plentiful growth of Staphylococcus aureus. One patient received oral antibiotic treatment for wound infection, and two had local antibiotic treatment.
Mild clinical infections were found in almost one of six wounds sutured at a Norwegian A&E department. More studies are necessary to provide basic data to enable targeted improvements in wound treatment in the primary healthcare service.