chapter  13
10 Pages

Infections of the Skin, Soft Tissues, Joints and Bone

WithKeith Struthers

Infections of the skin and soft tissues include a wide range of clinical situations and organisms ( Figure 13.1 ). Many infections arise following a breach of the skin, emphasizing the importance of this natural barrier. Once the skin is compromised, organisms can enter the deeper soft tissue. A surgical incision breaches the barrier, and surgical site infection (SSI) is an important entity, involving bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, including methicillin-resistant organisms (MRSA). The bite of a dog or cat introduces members of their oral flora, including Pasteurella multocida and Capnocytophaga canimorsus into the tissues, and can cause serious local and systemic infection. Eikinella corrodens, a member of the mouth flora of humans, is important in injuries of soft tissue and joints of the aggressor sustaining a ‘clenched fist’ injury. Not infrequently, these individuals present to 196hospital some days after the incident. (HBV, HCV and HIV need to be considered here too.)