Dr. Nancy Reid
Objective: The purpose of this literature review is to determine whether packing a simple cutaneous abscess (SCA) wound following an incision and drainage (I&D) leads to a decreased rate of wound recurrence, faster recovery, or wound healing, less pain, and apprehension compared to not packing.
Data Sources: PubMed, Science Direct, Cochran Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR), and Web of Science databases.
Study Selection: Randomized control trials, studies, and expert opinion surveys were considered for this review. Selection criteria included English-language articles published between 1998 and 2019 and could include data on adult or pediatric patients with SCAs undergoing I&D.
Data Extraction: Data was extracted using the following exclusion criteria: abscesses greater than 5cm diameter, associated cellulitis, patients with co-morbid immunocompromising conditions such as diabetes, HIV, malignancy, systemic steroids and abscesses on the face, neck, scalp, or perineal, or pilonidal regions.
Synthesis: An initial search produced 26 articles consisting of randomized control trials, studies, and expert opinion surveys. After review of the article abstracts and exclusions as necessary, 14 of the articles were further evaluated. Ultimately, nine articles met the inclusion and exclusion criteria serving as a basis for this literature review. For the purpose of this review, initial wound packing is used synonymously with subsequent repacking.
Rigney WF. Packing vs Nonpacking of Simple Cutaneous Abscess After Incision and Drainage. Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science. 2020; 2(1).
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