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.PATIENTS AND METHODS
A total of 20 patients with clinical signs of soft tissue infection were tested using wound swabs and fine-needle aspiration.RESULTS
Six of the wound swabs yielded a single organism but 16 out 20 of the FNAM group yielded a single organism (p = 0.002).CONCLUSIONS
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.