Journal Club Summary

Methodology Score: 3/5                   
Usefulness Score:  2/5
Medeiros IM, Saconato H
Cochrane Database Syst Rev2001🙁2
This Cochrane Review by Medeiros and Saconato attempted to review the evidence surrounding prophylactic antibiotics to prevent mammalian bite infections. Unfortunately, this meta-analysis is hamstrung by the low quality, clinical and statistical heterogeneity of its dated source studies and further research is required before the current standard of care can be challenged. 
By: Dr. Christopher Mong
(Presented October 2014)

Epi lesson:

To Pool or Not to Pool
A meta-analysis may attempt to address a compelling clinical question. But one of the key questions to ask when appraising meta-analyses is whether the pooling of the included studies is appropriate. Clinical heterogeneity reflects clinical differences between study populations, the intervention, co-interventions and/or outcomes when pooling studies in meta-analysis. This is distinct from statistical heterogeneity. Always ask yourself if the meta-analysis is combining apples with apples.  
By: Dr. Lisa Calder