A Randomized Blinded Trial of Abscess Management With Packing vs No Packing
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Adult patients presenting to the emergency department with superficial cutaneous abscesses will be randomized after incision and drainage to standard care with wound packing or no packing to determine if there is a difference in the proportion of complications between the two groups.
Proportion of complications (defined as a composite of the following: need for repeat incision and drainage by physician, need for admission to hospital, or need for escalation to intravenous antibiotics) [ Time Frame: 7 days ]
Secondary Outcome Measures
Proportion of wounds "closed" at 1 week (wound size <0.5 cm length and depth and no drainage) [ Time Frame: 7 days ]
Other Outcome Measures:
Proportion of wounds "closed" at 2 weeks (wound size <0.5 cm length and depth and no drainage) [ Time Frame: 14 days ]
Pain scores (daily pain scores for first week from patient diary) [ Time Frame: 7 days ]
Amount of Pain Medication Used [ Time Frame: 7 days ]
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Ages Eligible for Study:
18 Years and older (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:
≥ 18 years
Abscess ≤ 5cm in diameter
Truncal or extremity location
Post-operative abscess (abscess in location of operative incision, operation within the last 4 months)
HIV/immunocompromised/transplant recipient/chronic oral steroid use
Fever at triage (temp ≥38 degrees Celsius)
Abscess secondary to Crohn's
Multiple abscesses requiring drainage
Prior participation in the study for the same abscess
Incision and drainage performed with no packing required, or where abscess cavity is <1 cm max diameter
Bartholins/perigenital, perianal, or facial abscesses
Complicated abscesses (fistula, suspicion of muscular extension, consultation/direct referral to general surgery)