Bacteriological profile at Kimberley Hospital Burns Unit: a four-year retrospective study

  • Maria Gattorno Giaquinto-Cilliers Kimberley Hospital Burns Unit
  • M Z Hoosen Kimberley Hospital Burns Unit
  • T Govender Kimberley Hospital Burns Unit
  • L W Van der Merwe Kimberley Hospital Burns Unit
Keywords: bacterial profile, microbiological surveillance, burns, antimicrobial sensitivity, antimicrobial resistance


Objective: Infection is one of the most significant causes of morbidity and mortality in burn units. With an evolving bacteriological profile and a high prevalence of infection, it is essential to regularly assess the causative pathogens and their patterns of resistance and sensitivity to available antimicrobials. This study aimed to perform a four-year microbiological surveillance in our setting. Design: This was an observational descriptive epidemiological study. Subjects and setting: A retrospective analysis of available results pertaining to wound swabs, blood culture, central venous pressure (CVP) catheters and sputum culture from burn patients admitted to the Kimberley Hospital Burns Unit was performed from January 2009 to December 2012 (four years). Outcome measured: The results of microscopy and culture and antimicrobial sensitivity and resistance patterns were compiled and analysed for each year studied. Results: Staphylococcus aureus was the most common isolated pathogen (40.17%) on wound swabs, followed by Pseudomonas aeruginosa (21.55%), Proteus mirabilis (12.97%), Acinetobacter baumannii (10.04%), Enterobacter cloacae (6.69%) and Klebsiella pneumonia (5.65%). Blood culture revealed that S. aureus (32.08%), K. pneumonia (20.75%) and P. aeruginosa (16.98%) were the most frequently seen pathogens. S. aureus (20.51%) was the most common pathogen grown on CVP tip testing and Pseudomonas spp. (33%) on sputum testing. Conclusion: The bacterial profile of the unit showed an increase in the resistance pattern compared with audits performed in early years, stressing the importance of measures to control outbreaks of the previously mentioned species, leading to increased morbid mortality-related infection.

Author Biographies

Maria Gattorno Giaquinto-Cilliers, Kimberley Hospital Burns Unit
MD (Brazil) Specialist in Plastic Surgery Head Kimberley Hospital Burns Unit Northern Cape RSA
M Z Hoosen, Kimberley Hospital Burns Unit
MBChB Medical Officer Kimberley Hospital Burns Unit
T Govender, Kimberley Hospital Burns Unit
MBChB Medical Officer Kimberley Hospital Burns Unit
L W Van der Merwe, Kimberley Hospital Burns Unit
MBChB Medical Officer Kimberley Hospital Burns Unit
Original Research