Hospital referral is indicated as an emergency for breast infections not settling with oral antibiotics. Referrals to a breast clinic over a period of 6 months were assessed for prior antibiotic prescription. A total of 1078 patients were seen during this period. 91 (8%) patients had been prescribed antibiotics, 71% of which had been prescribed for non-infective conditions. Of those patients treated for infection, 42% had the wrong antibiotic prescribed. The final diagnoses for patients inappropriately prescribed antibiotics were chest wall pain in 23% and duct ectasia in 14%. Although the reasons for prescription of antibiotics are mutifactorial, careful examination of the patient will diagnose chest wall pain. Delayed prescribing may be appropriate for some patients.
- breast diseases
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Competing interests: None.
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