The bacteria that is present on the skin does not usually cause any harm. However, if the bacteria goes deep into the skin, through a cut, graze, or bite, it can result in an infection. Cellulitis is one such infection. It is a bacterial skin infection of the dermis. It can result in tenderness and discomfort but it can usually be managed or treated. Treatments for this infection include keeping the area clean and dry, keeping infected areas elevated above the heart, and taking antibiotics if necessary. If this condition is not treated or managed properly, more severe infections can result. In extremely severe cases, the infection may spread to the bone and possibly even the bloodstream, which could result in sepsis.
Symptoms of a cellulitis infection include:
- Sometimes blistering around the area affected
There are several groups of people who are more susceptible to cellulitis. These groups include:
- Diabetic People – If diabetes is not treated or controlled properly, it could lead to weakened immune systems. This could result in circulatory problems, which could lead to skin ulcers. The poor control over blood glucose levels allows the bacteria to grow quickly in affected tissue, which can facilitate in a rapid progression if the infection enters the bloodstream.
- Obese People – Increased likelihood of swelling in the legs leads to an increased chance of cellulitis developing.
- People who have Poor Blood Circulation – This condition leads to an increased chance of skin infections developing due to the blood supply not being ideal for fighting infections.
- People with Weakened Immune Systems – Such as patients who are undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy, have AIDS/HIV, and the very elderly.
- People who Live in Areas that are Densely Populated – When people share common living quarters they have a higher incidence of infection.
- People who are suffering from Lymphodema – This disease tends to cause swollen skin that is more likely to crack, providing bacteria with perfect entry routes.
- People who Inject Illegal Drugs – Drug addicts who use dirty needles are more likely to suffer infection deep in the skin.
- People suffering from Chickenpox and Shingles – Both of these diseases can cause skin blisters and should the blisters break they create routes for the bacteria to enter the skin.
If you or a loved one had a cellulitis that developed into sepsis as a result of medical malpractice, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your case.
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