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Watch For Infection

Updated: May 23, 2022

A wound infection can delay healing and cause significant issues that may require extended in-patient hospital stays and surgery.

After a procedure or injury, you should monitor your wound for Increasing Redness, Increased Pain, Green/Smelly/Copious spike in Drainage, and General feeling of malaise/flu-like symptoms. You should contact your surgeon with any potential signs of infection.

If they tell you to "Watch It" make sure to follow these simple steps

  1. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap or wear gloves before touching the wound.

  2. If you touch soiled blood/pus-covered dressings, make sure to clean or hands or change gloves again before you touch the actual open area.

  3. Cleanse the wound thoroughly with an antimicrobial wound cleanser. {Regular Saline or tap water is fine when no infection is suspected}

  4. Take a clear picture of the wound and surrounding skin to share if asked.

  5. Use an antibacterial wound dressing

  6. Keep the area covered

  7. Monitor for any increasing redness, smelly drainage, pain, feelings of itchiness; especially if the sensations being to increase and spread versus feeling better or closer to the actual open area.

If the area improves continue with your current treatment until it's time for a change.

If the area gets worse, it may be required for treatment with antibiotics oral or IV depending on your personal situation. Regardless, the faster treatment is started the better to prevent disastrous side effects. Contact your MD again or consider going to an Urgent Care or ER depending on your healthcare coverage recommendations.

Individuals at increased risk for infection include:

-Advanced Age


-Poor Circulation


-Previous Infection

-Decreased Mobility


-Open Wounds



-Extended Surgical Time or Hospital Stay

Infections after a procedure can start a few days or weeks after the procedure and continue while the area is open. Implanted devices are susceptible areas to infection from wounding from trauma even years after a procedure and vigilance is key.

If you suspect an infection, Contact your Surgeon, PCP or go to Urgent Care ASAP as you likely need medical attention.

If you have antibiotics on board already but are concerned about how your wound is healing consider getting to a Local Wound Center, most take clients without a referral but check with your local providers and insurance company for reimbursement questions.

Video consults are available but active infections will likely be recommended to seek local care. video consultation

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