Cel­luli­tis trial bids to take early ac­tion

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

A trial aimed at re­duc­ing avoid­able ad­mis­sions to hos­pi­tal found that it wasn’t as easy as ad­min­is­ter­ing in­tra­venous an­tibi­otics in the com­mu­nity.

The skin in­fec­tion cel­luli­tis is one of top four causes of avoid­able ad­mis­sions to hos­pi­tal in Welling­ton but an ini­tia­tive to treat pa­tients ear­lier at gen­eral prac­tices or by com­mu­nity nurses did not re­duce the hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion rate.

Cap­i­tal and Coast District Health Board in­fec­tious dis­eases spe­cial­ist Nigel Ray­mond said cel­luli­tis was rarely the pa­tient’s only con­di­tion.

As well as wounds and eczema, cel­luli­tis was of­ten as­so­ci­ated with vari­cose veins, swollen legs from a va­ri­ety of causes, di­a­betes or obe­sity.

‘‘The GPS were try­ing to iden­tify a small num­ber of the sick­est peo­ple who could be treated be­fore they needed to go to hos­pi­tal, which was quite an am­bi­tious thing to try,’’ he said.

It showed that gen­eral prac­ti­tion­ers could de­liver the care, but only from Mon­day to Fri­day.

Cel­luli­tis is an in­fec­tion that takes hold when the skin bar­rier has been com­pro­mised, ei­ther by a wound or other con­di­tion, such as eczema. The ear­lier it is treated with an­tibi­otics and wound care the bet­ter it re­sponded, Dr Ray­mond said.

The board’s ap­proach has now been re­versed. Pa­tients are sta­bilised in hos­pi­tal and dis­charged to GPS and com­mu­nity nurses as soon as pos­si­ble.

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