Antibiotics in tactical combat casualty care 2002

Mil Med. 2003 Nov;168(11):911-4.


Care of casualties in the tactical combat environment should include the use of prophylactic antibiotics for all open wounds. Cefoxitin was the antibiotic recommended in the 1996 article "Tactical Combat Casualty Care in Special Operations." The present authors recommend that oral gatifloxacin should be the antibiotic of choice because of its ease of carriage and administration, excellent spectrum of action, and relatively mild side effect profile. For those casualties unable to take oral antibiotics because of unconsciousness, penetrating abdominal trauma, or shock, cefotetan is recommended because of its longer duration of action than cefoxitin.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis*
  • Cefotetan / therapeutic use*
  • Cefoxitin / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / methods*
  • Infections / drug therapy
  • Infections / etiology
  • Infusions, Parenteral
  • Military Medicine / methods*
  • United States
  • Wounds and Injuries / complications*
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy*


  • Cefotetan
  • Cefoxitin