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Emergency treatment for people with serious skin conditions

Early recognition of serious skin conditions in the emergency department is vital

Early recognition of serious skin conditions in the emergency department is vital

Serious skin infections, also known as acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI), include conditions such as cellulitis or erysipelas, wound infections and abscesses. Cellulitis alone accounts for 8% of emergency hospital admissions (NHS England 2014).

Treatment can be given in an outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) setting, so hospital admission can be avoided. However, this service is not suitable for all patients.

Oral antibiotics can also be an option but patient adherence is low and can carry a significant pill burden (sometimes up to 20 tablets per day) resulting in poor clinical outcomes (Eells et al 2016).

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