The purpose of this study is to determine if antibiotica are required in the management of
skin abscess following incision and drainage.
This is a double-blind, randomized controlled trial at an urban pediatric emergency
department. Sample size (162) was based on a threshold equivalence of 7% (α = 0.05, power =
80%). Inclusion criteria were: non-toxic, immunocompetent, 3 months to 18 years old,
English-speaking patients with clinical or ultrasound identified skin abscesses who were not
on antibiotics. Patients were block randomized to receive placebo or
trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole following incision and drainage. Follow-up was a call at 2-3
days & a repeat visit or call at 10-14 days. Treatment failure was defined as: persistent
erythema, tenderness, and/or draining lesions. New lesion was defined as: primary resolution
with development of new lesion (furuncle, carbuncle or abscess) at a different location.
Compliance was evaluated by the return of the study medication or by patient report.
- non-toxic patients
- immunocompetent patients
- 3 months to 18 years old
- English-speaking patients
- skin abscesses
- not on antibiotics
- toxic patients
- immunocompromising co-morbidities
- less than 3 months old or older than 18 years of age
- non-english speaking
- on antibiotics