Most patients that got non-absorbable packs (Merocel, RapidRhino) got antibiotics. Those with absorbable packs (Surgicel, Gelfoam) did not. Although this aspect of the study is robust, it is hardly important… I just don’t care.
I want to know how many patients got benefit from antibiotics.
Out of the 275 cases, there was one episode of sinusitis in each group. Looks like it doesn’t matter?
But there is a fatal flaw.
They didn’t really look for outcomes.
Only 40% of the patients had documented follow up! In addition, this would have been poor quality retrospective data.
If you don’t look for something, you will not find it. Interesting that this study got published.
Probably the best thing to come out of this “study” is their review of the literature. In a nutshell, there is moderate evidence to show that antibiotics are not needed after nasal packing.
Good enough for me.
Hu L, Gordon SA, Swaminathan A, et al. Utilization of Prophylactic Antibiotics after Nasal Packing for Epistaxis. J Emerg Med. 2021;60:140-149. [link to article]
Dr Brian Doyle is an emergency physician originally from the United States but now very much calls Tasmania his home. Unfortunately, it will now be a bit more difficult to deport him from the country as he passed his Australian citizenship test a few years ago. (He was able to answer that Phar Lap won the Melbourne rather than the Davis Cup). His main interests are mostly the clinical aspects of emergency medicine but also in education, ultrasound and critical appraisal of the literature. He spends much of his time annoying people to help out with conferences.