Wounds and infections

Wounds and infections

“Oh my God,” he exclaimed. “Dad don’t tell me that you were not even aware of this infection”

The elderly father himself could not believe that he was staring at a swollen limb which was bright red in colour and had a foul smelling pus discharge. On top of that there was a wound staring at them.

This is not at all an uncommon occurrence. Wounds and infections go un announced and un invited in a diabetic patient more so in the foot.

Let me first deal with what an infection is. Bacteria are ubiquitous meaning thereby they are present everywhere. Diabetic patient characteristically has high sugars. His tissue healing is poor and  to compound that.. he has neuropathy which means that the nerves are affected grossly leading to impaired sensations and microangiopathy which essentially means less blood flow in the Limbs. In this deadly triad it is no surprise that bacteria or germs would attack any susceptible area leading to infection.

Technically speaking infections are gram-positive infections gram-negative infections and anaerobes. all  Three infections have a different mode of action, their manifestations are different and so are the treatment modalities.

It is important to know that infections can lead to gangrene and gangrene in turn may necessitate an amputation.

From a practical point of view it is important to identify infection in a very early stage and to report to your doctor immediately to prevent further complications. A limb which becomes red, swollen, hot and painful with diminished movement is likely to be infected limb

In conclusion it is important to identify and understand what is meant by infection and to take steps towards early detection and treatment.