At Glenwood Hyperbaric and Wound Care Center, staff and physicians put a special emphasis on patient education. Part of that education includes knowing when to seek professional medical attention for an infected wound. Learn how to recognize the symptoms of wound infection below.
How to Recognize Wound Infection
- Bleeding that soaks through the dressing
- Increased drainage, usually foul-smelling and discolored (yellow, yellow-green)
- Pink fluid weeping from the wound
- Increased pain, swelling, or redness in the skin around the wound
- Change in color of the wound
- Increase in wound size
- Fever over 101 ºF, fatigue, loss of appetite
In contrast, a normal wound that is healing properly will appear bright red with fairly uniform color. Normal wounds should respond to oral antibiotics, ointments, and other traditional treatment options. If traditional treatment under the supervision of your primary physician is not effective, then you may be referred to Glenwood Hyperbaric and Wound Care Center for advanced wound treatment.
How to Prevent Wound Infection
Here’s what you can do to reduce the chances of your wound becoming infected:
- If an acute wound, wash it immediately with soap and water.
- Apply non-prescription antibiotic ointment to the wound.
- Cover it with an appropriate bandage or gauze dressing.
- Be sure to keep the wound especially clean and dry for the first 24 hours.
- Change the dressing daily, using sterile gloves.
Alert your primary care physician if you notice any symptoms of infection and/or are at risk for wound infection. Diabetics, long-term smokers, and individuals with blood circulation problems are at a greater risk for infection.