Emergency physicians commonly treat skin and soft tissue infections. Community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) has become the prominent etiologic agent in these infections. The CA-MRSA is resistant to many antibiotics traditionally used to treat skin and soft tissue infections.Study objectives:
We aim to identify how the increased prevalence of CA-MRSA has changed emergency medicine physician (EMP) prescribing and treatment practices for community-acquired skin and soft tissue infections.Methods:
The EMPs in the United States were surveyed between June and December of 2006. Two cases of skin and soft tissue infection were presented, and questions were asked about management.Results:
Two hundred seventy-five surveys were returned. The EMPs used a variety of approaches in the antibiotic treatment of skin and soft tissue infections. Two hundred seven (75.3%) of 275 were board-certified EMPs and were included in the analysis. Commonly used agents for outpatient treatment include trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, clindamycin, cephalexin, rifampin, and tetracyclines. For patients requiring admission, 60% of providers would include vancomycin in their treatment regimen.Conclusion:
Many clinicians have changed their practice patterns to include antibiotics that usually display activity against CA-MRSA. However, cephalexin remains a popular agent used for these infections.