Incidence of infection in pediatric patients with laceration

Pediatr Emerg Care. 1987 Dec;3(4):239-41. doi: 10.1097/00006565-198712000-00005.


Lacerations are common in emergency departments. A review of pediatric patients was carried out to determine the infection rate. During a three-month period, from August to October, 415 patients were prospectively evaluated to determine the occurrence of infections in sutured lacerations. Sixty-nine patients (16%) were lost to follow-up. Seven patients (2%) developed infections. The infection rate in the lower extremities was 8.5% (P less than 0.0001). Six lacerations (5.3%) greater than 3 cm in size became infected, compared to one (0.4%) that was smaller than 3 cm (P less than 0.0001). Falls accounted for 61% of the injuries. The infection rate in children is less than that in adults. However, large lacerations in the lower extremities are at greater risk.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Seasons
  • Skin / injuries*
  • Suture Techniques
  • Time Factors
  • Wound Infection / epidemiology*
  • Wound Infection / etiology
  • Wounds, Penetrating / complications
  • Wounds, Penetrating / therapy*