Punch and shave biopsies are important dermatologic procedures in the inpatient setting but have a risk of wound infection. Data on the incidence of infection in this setting are limited and conflicting. This retrospective study of 127 pediatric inpatients at two tertiary care centers who underwent biopsy demonstrated a low overall risk of infection (n = 1, 0.8%). Twenty-five (19.7%) were neutropenic, and 51 (40.2%) were not taking systemic antibiotics at the time of biopsy; none of these patients developed a wound infection. The overall low rate of infection should reassure physicians who are balancing the risks and benefits of performing a skin biopsy in children in the inpatient setting and suggests that physicians should not defer clinically indicated biopsies because of concern about infection.
- punch biopsy
- shave biopsy