Dr. Nancy Reid
Skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) are increasing in prevalence in the United States and comprise nearly two percent of emergency department visits. Purulent SSTIs, or abscesses, are characterized by erythema, induration, tenderness, and fluctuance. Abscesses can be detected clinically on examination or by ultrasound. Treatment usually consists of incision and drainage. This article reviews the techniques employed in performing incision and drainage with a discussion surrounding the adjuvant therapies, including packing or loop drainage use following incision and drainage. Antimicrobial selection to reduce costs and complications associated with purulent SSTIs is reviewed, as well as a contrasting view that antibiotic therapy should be reserved for a select patient population. Finally, prevention techniques are emphasized to prevent a recurrence.
Knoblauch K. Skin and Soft Tissue Management in the Acute-Care Setting. University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository. 2021; 3(3).
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