Background: Animal bites are one of the leading causes of visits to an emergency room (ER) in Thailand. Rabies is an almost invariably fatal disease.
Objectives: We evaluated the appropriateness of rabies vaccination in clinical practice following the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.
Methods: All patients who visited the ER at Ramathibodi Hospital of Mahidol University because of mammal bites and received rabies vaccination by the WHO rabies postexposure regimen were enrolled. Data were retrieved from medical records. Wound categories were classified by WHO guidelines both in real practice and by the investigators on subsequent investigation.
Results: The agreement between clinical practice and the WHO guidelines was calculated and reported as kappa statistics. There were 372 eligible patients. The mean age was 36 years and 172 patients were male. The agreement between clinical practice and the WHO guidelines was a disturbing 26.9% with a kappa statistic of -0.02, P = 0.56.
Conclusion: Even in a referral and teaching hospital, rabies postexposure vaccination in Thailand was not appropriate according to WHO guidelines.