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Antibiotic prescription for patients referred to a specialist breast clinic
  1. C Twine,
  2. C A Gateley
  1. Rapid Access Breast Clinic, Royal Gwent Hospital, Cardiff Road, Newport, South Wales, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 C Twine
 Department of General Surgery, Royal Gwent Hospital, Cardiff Road, Newport, South Wales NP20 2UB, UK; chris_twine{at}


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
  • infection
  • antibiotics
  • referrals
  • outpatient

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  • Competing interests: None.

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