Tag Archive for: Abscess

Abscess Management: The Reformation of an Antibiotic Nihilist

12 May
May 12, 2018

Abscess management has evolved somewhat in the 14 years since my residency graduation. The point at which antibiotics are likely to be more helpful than harmful is not always easy to assess, and evidence based expert opinion has flip flopped impressively.

Based on current evidence, I would like to answer 3 big questions that every clinician may have when confronted with an abscess:

  1. Who needs antibiotics?
  2. Which abscesses need to be drained?
  3. How should abscesses be drained?

Read more →

Utility of Antibiotics in Abscess Management – Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

02 Apr
April 2, 2018

Background: Skin and soft tissue abscesses are a common emergency department (ED) presentation. The approach to management has changed little in recent decades: incision and drainage (I+D) and then discharge home with follow up. However, increasing rates of methicillin-resistant staph aureus (MRSA) over the last decade have led to further consideration of adjunct therapy with oral antibiotics to improve cure rates. Two recent studies (Talan 2016, Daum 2017) have shown a modest but consistent benefit to oral antibiotics. Read more →

Is It Necessary to Irrigate Abscesses After I&D?

11 Apr
April 11, 2016

Irrigate AbscessesBackground: Irrigation after incision and drainage (I&D) of an abscess in the ED is considered by some sources to be standard care but local practice varies considerably. There are no randomized controlled trials to date that look at the potential benefits of this procedure. Irrigation increases the time required for the procedure and increases pain experienced by the patient. Read more →

Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole for Uncomplicated Skin Abscesses?

10 Mar
March 10, 2016

Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole for Uncomplicated Skin Abscesses?Background: It is well documented that the number of visits to the ED for abscesses is on the rise in the US, with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) being the most common cause of purulent skin and soft-tissue infections. The primary treatment for cutaneous abscesses is incision and drainage (I&D). The prescription of antibiotics after this procedure is not straightforward. On one hand there is increased cost and possibly increased side effects, but on the other hand maybe antibiotics will increase eradication and improve treatment. What is known is that I&D alone will result in resolution in >80% of cases. So this begs the question, should we be empirically prescribing Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole for uncomplicated skin abscesses after I&D? Read more →