Through-and-through Lip Lacerations | Prophylactic Use of Antibiotics for Through and Through Lacerations of the Lip

Through-and-through Lip Lacerations research study

What is the primary objective of this study?

Facial lacerations are a commonly encountered problem in the emergency department. Despite this, few original articles have been written concerning the management of lacerations of the lip which communicate with the oral cavity. Specifically, no study has been able to definitively show whether the use of antibiotics for these wounds decreases the infection rate. These cutaneous wounds are a unique type of laceration because they are continuously contaminated with oropharyngeal flora. Contaminated wounds result in larger, less cosmetic scars. Scars which involve the face have been shown to have a negative psychological impact. In this study, the investigators aim to determine whether the use of antibiotics decrease the rate of infection in lacerations of the lip which communicate with the oral cavity. Patients will be randomized to one of two currently practiced therapies. Patients will receive either cephalexin or no treatment following the repair of their through-and-through lip lacerations to determine whether antibiotics decrease the infection rate in these wounds.

Who is eligible to participate?

Inclusion Criteria: - any individual who presents with a through-and-through laceration of the lip within twenty-four hours of injury Exclusion Criteria: - patients less than eighteen years of age - pregnancy - currently taking antibiotics - animal or human bites - wounds greater than 24 hours old - diabetic patients - immune compromised patients - patients who require antibiotics for other sustained injuries - patients with an allergy to penicillin or cephalosporin will be excluded if randomized to the cephalexin treatment group

Which medical condition, disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury is researched?

Through-and-through Lip Lacerations

Study Interventions

Interventions can include giving participants drugs, medical devices, procedures, vaccines, and other products that are either investigational or already available or noninvasive approaches such as surveys, education, and interviews.

Drug:keflexkeflex 500 mg BID 5 days

Drug:placeboplacebo BID for five days

Study Arms

Research studies and clinical trials typically have two or more research arms. An arm is a group of people who receive the same treatment in the study.

keflexkeflex 500mg twice a day for five days

placeboplacebo 500mg twice a day for five days

Study Status


Start Date: August 2009

Completed Date: August 2011

Phase: N/A

Type: Interventional


Primary Outcome: Infection

Secondary Outcome:

Study sponsors, principal investigator, and references

Principal Investigator: Carrie Sims, M.D.

Lead Sponsor: University of Pennsylvania


More information:

Discuss Cephalexin