JOURNAL ARTICLE

Hand infections: a retrospective analysis

Tolga Türker, Nicole Capdarest-Arest, Spencer T Bertoch, Erik C Bakken, Susan E Hoover, Jiyao Zou
PeerJ 2014, 2: e513
25210653
Purpose. Hand infections are common, usually resulting from an untreated injury. In this retrospective study, we report on hand infection cases needing surgical drainage in order to assess patient demographics, causation of infection, clinical course, and clinical management. Methods. Medical records of patients presenting with hand infections, excluding post-surgical infections, treated with incision and debridement over a one-year period were reviewed. Patient demographics; past medical history; infection site(s) and causation; intervals between onset of infection, hospital admission, surgical intervention and days of hospitalization; gram stains and cultures; choice of antibiotics; complications; and outcomes were reviewed. Results. Most infections were caused by laceration and the most common site of infection was the palm or dorsum of the hand. Mean length of hospitalization was 6 days. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, beta-hemolytic Streptococcus and methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus were the most commonly cultured microorganisms. Cephalosporins, clindamycin, amoxicillin/clavulanate, penicillin, vancomycin, and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole were major antibiotic choices. Amputations and contracture were the primary complications. Conclusions. Surgery along with medical management were key to treatment and most soft tissue infections resolved without further complications. With prompt and appropriate care, most hand infection patients can achieve full resolution of their infection.

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