Infections following lawnmower and farm machinery-related injuries in children

Ben Harkness, David Andresen, Alison Kesson, David Isaacs
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 2009, 45 (9): 525-8

AIMS: Because of the paucity of previous data, we report the organisms causing infection in children with injuries from lawnmowers and farm machinery.

METHODS: Retrospective study of children admitted to the Children's Hospital at Westmead for lawnmower and farm machinery-related injuries from 1998 to 2007.

RESULTS: Twenty-four patients were admitted for lawnmower-related injuries. They had a bimodal age distribution, with peaks at 2-4 years and 14 years. Twenty-one (87.5%) were boys. Positive wound cultures were obtained in 16.7% and included Gram-positive and Gram-negative organisms. Eight patients were admitted for farm machinery-related injuries. Two patients (25%) returned positive wound cultures with multiple organisms including bacteria, fungi and mycobacteria and were diagnosed with osteomyelitis caused by Stenotrophomonas maltophilia and Scedosporium prolificans, respectively.

CONCLUSION: The rate of infection in our small series of children with lawnmower and farm machinery-related injuries was comparable to previous reports. We found a wide range of causative organisms, often inherently antibiotic resistant, and we add a case of invasive fungal infection to previous case reports. Because of the wide range of organisms, empirical antibiotic therapy is difficult and our data emphasise the need for cultures to direct ongoing therapy.

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