Systemic antibiotics are not routinely prescribed for patients with uncomplicated burn wounds. They should be used with discretion.

The prophylactic use of antibiotics has not been shown to reduce the risk of infection in smaller burns and may facilitate the development of multi resistant bacteria. (18)

In principle, antibiotics should only be given when a known infection is present and according to sensitivities. The use of topical antimicrobial dressings should be considered as an alternative to systemic antibiotics unless there is invasive burn wound infection.

The Alfred Hospital gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support and contribution of Skilled Medical in funding this project.  For more information on Skilled Medical, please visit
Supported by:

Ambulance Victoria The Alfred Victorian Adult Burn Services at The Alfred The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne