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An Overview of cellulitis

An Overview of cellulitis

Cellulitis is a bacterial infection that affects skin and the tissues underneath the skin. It may sometimes penetrate to deeper layers as well, to the dermis and the subcutaneous tissue. The bacteria that commonly cause cellulitis are Streptococcus and Staphylococcus (staph). Other bacteria such as Haemophilus influenza, Clostridium or Pneumococcus can also cause this condition. Cellulitis is not specific to people of any age group or gender.

Causes and Symptoms

Cellulitis occurs when bacteria enters the body through an open wound, break or lesion in the skin, and spreads throughout the body in the form of an infection. The following factors are observed to be common causes of cellulitis:

ü Infections following surgeries

ü Permanent skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema

ü Injuries that cause the skin to tear

ü Foreign objects coming in contact with skin

ü Infection in the bone underneath the skin

Certain characteristic signs and symptoms can be visibly observed in a person developing cellulitis. The infection usually starts in a small region causing swelling, tenderness, and redness, before it can spread to the surrounding skin. The region infected may be warm. When the infection starts spreading, the person may develop high fevers with chills or sweats, and his lymph nodes may swell up too.

The affected skin may start to leak clear yellow fluids called pus, if not treated immediately. Emergency care must be sought when any of these symptoms are felt or noticed, especially in combination with numbness in the affected area accompanied by nausea/vomiting.

Those at Risk

People with weak immune systems are particularly prone to develop cellulitis, especially those undergoing chemotherapy while fighting cancer, or those consuming any drugs that suppress their immunity while treating other conditions. The following facts may add to your risk of developing cellulitis:

· Diabetes

· Liver diseases like cirrhosis or hepatitis

· Skin trauma

· Skin disorders

· Circulatory conditions such as varicose veins

Diagnosing and Treating Cellulitis

Your physician may prescribe a blood test, culture or an x-ray to identify the cause of infection. For a person diagnosed with cellulitis, immediate first aid and treatment should be administered. The infected area must be kept in a comfortable resting position, and slightly elevated to reduce the swelling. Pain killers like Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Motrin (ibuprofen) can be used to control pain and fever.

Once swelling and fever are controlled, intensive treatment must be advised and pursued by the physician to stop the infection from spreading further into the blood and bones, as this could cause major complications or even death.

Mismanagement of Cellulitis and its Liability

When proper care and the right treatment is not extended to a patient, or when his condition is misdiagnosed, it becomes a case of medical negligence by mismanagement of cellulitis, and the concerned medical experts can be held liable for compensation.

Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff have law offices located in Astoria, Queens, New York City and two locations in Brooklyn. Contact our New York City medical malpractice lawyers today to schedule a free consultation. Our lawyers are here to help you obtain the most compensation possible for your case and situation and relieve you from mental anguish and financial distress. Call 212-344-1000now.

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