Infections in the upper extremity pose a variety of problems, including
severe life and limb threatening complications. Antibiotics and possible
surgical drainage may be needed. Infections may spread deep within the
hand, initially resulting in little outward evidence of a serious problem.
Infections may progress rapidly and spread to other areas of the body.
Permanent functional impairment is common following the course of a deep
hand infection. Because of the potential for long term problems, outpatient
management of hand infections requires absolute patient cooperation in
taking antibiotics, wound care and clinical status monitoring. Outpatient
management requires that the patient seek immediate medical attention if
there are warning signs of progression, including fever, chills, or
progressive worsening of redness, pain or swelling.
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