University of Phoenix Studies: Cellulitis and Lymphoedema

Feb 3rd, 2012
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University of Phoenix
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Firas Al-Niaimi, Neil Cox Cellulitis is a relatively common infection of the skin and subcutaneous tissue associated with high morbidity and a burden on healthcare resources. Lymphoedema — the accumulation of fluid in interstitial spaces — can occur as a consequence of cellulitis.

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Clinical REVIEWCellulitis and lymphoedema: a vicious cycleFiras Al-Niaimi, Neil Cox Cellulitis is a relatively common infection of the skin and subcutaneous tissue associated with high morbidity and a burden on healthcare resources. Lymphoedema - the accumulation of fluid in interstitial spaces - can occur as a consequence of cellulitis. Similarly, the presence of chronic lymphoedema can predispose to recurrent episodes of cellulitis. This article explores the relationship between lymphoedema and cellulitis, with emphasis on diagnosis, management and methods of prevention.Key words Cellulitis Lymphoedema Prophylactic therapy PATCH Cellulitis is defined as an acute inflammation of the skin and subcutaneous tissue which is commonly caused by Streptococcus pyogenes or Staphylococcus aureus (Morton and Swartz, 2004). The lower leg is the most affected site, accounting for 75-90% of all cases (Tsao and Johnson, 1997). The true incidence of cellulitis is hard to estimate but a review of all hospital admissions in a UK district general hospital showed that about 3% of all admissions were for cellulitis (Morris, 2004), thereby constituting a huge financial burden on healthcare resources. The NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement noted that there were 45,522 inpatient admissions for cellulitis in 2003-2004, costing the NHS 87m (Carter et al, 2007).Symptoms of cellulitis vary depending on the severity, which can range from mild to a more severe form with systemic invol

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