Home > A review of drug addict abscesses.

O'Sullivan, Michael and Beattie, Thomas and Keane, CT (1984) A review of drug addict abscesses. Irish Medical Journal, 77, (3), 68 70.

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This paper discusses the problem of abscesses due to subcutaneous injection of heroin (skin-popping) in 26 injecting drug users in Dublin attending the Meath and Adelaide Hospitals. The most common sites are the antecubital fossa and deltoid regions of arms and the buttocks, and the most common infectious organism in this series of abscesses is staph aureus. Unusually, two cases of strep pneumoniae abscesses were noted, which might be the result of needle sharing of dirty needles or an immune deficiency among drug users. All of the organisms found were susceptible to standard antibiotics. Treatment is usually involves an incision and drainage of the abscess. Extremely ill patients also receive antibiotics.

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