Diagnostic fine-needle aspiration in postoperative wound infections is more accurate at predicting causative organisms than wound swabs

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Postoperative wound infections are common. Antibiotics are often prescribed empirically, usually in the absence of any microbiological sensitivity data. This study demonstrates the role of fine-needle aspiration microbiology (FNAM) in determining the causative organisms in these wounds compared to wound swabs taken from the same patients.


A total of 20 patients with clinical signs of soft tissue infection were tested using wound swabs and fine-needle aspiration.


Six of the wound swabs yielded a single organism but 16 out 20 of the FNAM group yielded a single organism (p = 0.002).


The FNAM approach allows antibiotic sensitivities to be obtained enabling specific antimicrobial therapy to be implemented early. FNAM also has a higher yield of cultures than wound swabs. Cellulitic areas can be sampled even when use of wound swabs is not possible.

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