Timing of antibiotics in the management of community-acquired sepsis: Can a randomised controlled trial of prehospital therapy provide answers?

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Significant tension surrounds the application of antibiotics in suspected infection. Guidelines stress the importance of early empirical broad-spectrum therapy, with select observational data suggesting inferior outcomes when this is delayed. In contrast, microbiological resistance is an ever increasing global problem, with many advocating for a more restricted, culture-driven approach to antibiotic prescription. Controlled trial data are urgently needed, although many clinicians would find withholding of antibiotic therapy unethical. A trial of prehospital antibiotic administration (by paramedics) in patients with suspected sepsis would therefore provide crucial data, and go a long way to determining whether earlier empirical therapy does actually improve outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-272
Number of pages3
JournalEmergency Medicine Australasia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


  • Antibiotics
  • Emergency medicine
  • Prehospital care
  • Sepsis

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