Puncture wounds are produced by any sharp item that penetrates into the skin barrier. Throughout the years, nails have been responsible for causing puncture wounds, mostly on the bottom of the foot. This is why it is vital to wear shoes especially in work areas that involve sharp objects to minimize the risk for any injuries.
Even though deeper structures such as the blood vessels, tendons and nerves can end up damaged from any penetrating object, the most common complication is infection. There are a number of risk factors that increases the risk for infection including wound depth, presence of a retained foreign object and seeking medical care more than 24 hours after the wound was sustained.
In some cases of puncture wounds, antibiotic therapy is usually indicated if there is infection or if medical care is sough more than 24 hours after the injury was sustained. Always bear in mind that antibiotics are selected based on the type of infecting bacteria. Most cases of infected puncture wounds, they are triggered by the staphylococcus and streptococcus bacteria. Antibiotics that are utilized for infected puncture wounds are highly effective against these kinds of bacteria.
When it comes to cases of localized, superficial infections, they are considered as the most common form of infectious complications affecting puncture wounds. Antibiotics taken orally are highly effective in managing uncomplicated wound infections as well as preventing serious infectious consequences.
The commonly used antibiotics include cephalosporins such as cephalexin, erythromycin which is a macrolide antibiotic as well as penicillin-type drugs including dicloxacillin and amoxicillin-clavulanic acid.
Severe cases of infections
Hospitalization and administration of intravenous antibiotics are needed for extensive infections affecting the soft tissues from a puncture wound. In some cases, cellulitis is a deep tissue infection which is a common complication of puncture wounds and considered as a common complication from a penetrating injury. Intravenous antibiotics that are used for cellulitis include penicillin as well as cephalosporin.
Osteomyelitis is considered as the most serious complication of puncture wounds. It is described as an infection involving the bone and quite difficult to manage. Pseudomonas is a type of bacteria that is often the cause of puncture wound osteomyelitis and entails strong pseudomonas-specific antibiotics including the newer versions of cephalosporins or the quinolone antibiotic ciprofloxacin. In some cases, surgery might be required to debride the infected bone.
When it comes to puncture wounds, it is vital to carefully assess the wound if it is a deep one. If in doubt and worried, it is best to consult a doctor or bring the individual to a healthcare facility so that proper measures can be carried out to minimize the risk for infection.