Skin and Soft Tissue Infections in the Emergency Department

Amelia Breyre, Bradley W Frazee
Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America 2018, 36 (4): 723-750
This article covers the diagnosis and treatment of skin and soft tissue infections commonly encountered in the emergency department: impetigo, cutaneous abscesses, purulent cellulitis, nonpurulent cellulitis, and necrotizing skin and soft tissue infections. Most purulent infections in the United States are caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. For abscesses, we emphasize the importance of incision and drainage. Nonpurulent infections are usually caused by streptococcal species and initial empiric antibiotics need not cover methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. For uncommon but potentially lethal necrotizing skin and soft tissue infections, the challenge is rapid diagnosis in the emergency department and prompt surgical exploration and debridement.

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