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  1. #1
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    antibiotics for road rash?

    I recently fell off my bike in the rain, and got a few deep cuts and some scrapes on my elbow.
    I went in to an urgent care place to see if I needed stitches. No stitches, but they put me on a 10 day course of antibiotics just in case.

    Is that standard nowadays?

    I don't remember getting antibiotics for cuts before, but its been a few years.

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    I think it would depend on how bad your road rash was, where you crashed and even where you live. Just think if you live in a very moist humid area, you would want the antibiotics. Either way I think the risk of over-use of antibiotics outweighs the risk of infection in your situation.

  3. #3
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    The PA who saw me said I need them because if an infection does get into the elbow joint then it's real hard to clean it out of there.
    My cuts were not super deep, but right at the end of the elbow where there is no meat covering it, so theoretically something could have gotten to the bone.

    Still, I never got 10 days of antibiotics for cuts and road rash when I was a kid. Maybe there is something to the talk of overusing antibiotics. I do wonder how many kids with road rash get prescribed antibiotics but don't finish them, leading to antibiotic resistant strains.

  4. #4
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikebreak View Post
    I recently fell off my bike in the rain, and got a few deep cuts and some scrapes on my elbow. I went in to an urgent care place to see if I needed stitches. No stitches, but they put me on a 10 day course of antibiotics just in case.

    Is that standard nowadays?
    It shouldn't be standard practice. Maybe the drug company rep just came through?

    Seriously, a topical antibiotic ointment for the first couple days until the wounds stop weeping is a reasonable precaution, but unless you have some underlying medical condition (immune suppressed, artificial heart valves, etc.) I'd think oral antibiotics for any length of time would not be indicated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikebreak View Post
    The PA who saw me said I need them because if an infection does get into the elbow joint then it's real hard to clean it out of there.
    My cuts were not super deep, but right at the end of the elbow where there is no meat covering it, so theoretically something could have gotten to the bone.

    Still, I never got 10 days of antibiotics for cuts and road rash when I was a kid. Maybe there is something to the talk of overusing antibiotics. I do wonder how many kids with road rash get prescribed antibiotics but don't finish them, leading to antibiotic resistant strains.

    It's the lawyers that are driving the Doctors to take a conservative approach. If you had told him you didn't want to be on antibiotics he probably would have had to write a letter to you documenting that you refused the antibiotic just in case you got infected & got complications.

  6. #6
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    I like Wild Turkey......works inside and out......little varmits ain't going to be using that as food anytime soon....

    I just scrub it with soap and water,put some antiseptic on it......save the antibiotics for when I really need them.
    Last edited by Booger1; 10-18-12 at 02:59 PM.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  7. #7
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Overkill. Scrub it out, douse it with Hibiclens, cover it with Tegaderm.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  8. #8
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    My dog licked the roadrash on my arm the other night and it is healing very nicely now.

    I just got some road rash on my arm.
    At the clinic, the dabbed it with saline and a cloth, then pasted on some cream, then sent me on my way.
    I haven't put anything on it since. Just kept it clean and uncovered so it would dry out.
    But I guess it depends on your situation.

  9. #9
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    No silvadine? That's what was prescribed for me and I have diabetes, which suppresses the immune system, but no antibiotics. Now the muscle relaxer and pain killer together was awesome.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  10. #10
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    I was on antibiotics for an elbow gash this summer - also had a puncture/contusion on my shin. This was the result of falling biking to work and getting intimate with an urban roadway frequented by all sorts of cars and trucks, including leaky garbage trucks. I'm an RN and thought the drugs were appropriate. Hadn't taken any oral antibiotics for at least a decade prior to that. I made sure to take the entire ten-day course. Used triple antibiotic ointment on the elbow for the entire six weeks it took to heal. Kept it covered mostly with breathable waterproof bandaids.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  11. #11
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I'm surprised they didn't give you a tetanus shot. When was your last tetanus shot?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    I'm surprised they didn't give you a tetanus shot. When was your last tetanus shot?
    Right, when I couldn't remember immediately when I had my last tetanus booster the PA decided to give me one to be safe. The tetanus booster was no surprise, and there is no way to mess that up.
    I worry more about them giving out 10 day courses of antibiotics to people who won't finish them.

  13. #13
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    No harm from tetanus shot 'too soon' after previous one - I was given one since couldn't remember how many years it had been.

    Teaching info which should always come from the provider/prescriber and pharmacist is to always complete an antibiotics prescription. Of course, that doesn't guarantee anything.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

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