What Are 5 Signs of a Wound Infection?

May 27, 2024

At Preferred Health Care, we understand that managing chronic wounds can be complex for our patients and their support systems. Chronic wounds resulting from conditions like diabetes, poor circulation, or prolonged pressure demand careful care and monitoring. Early recognition of infection signs is vital for effective wound management. We know it can be complicated for chronic wound care patients to travel back and forth to multiple wound care appointments throughout the week, which is why Preferred Healthcare’s Mobile Wound Care services are here for you.

Here are five warning signs that suggest a chronic wound may be infected and require immediate attention:

Increased Pain

If the pain from a wound gets worse or becomes sharp and constant, it could mean the wound is not healing correctly and may be infected. It’s important to have a healthcare professional evaluate increasing pain. Let your mobile wound care provider know if you experience any new or worsening pain that isn’t responding to the usual treatment. Those with chronic wounds who experience increased pain could have an infection.
Foul Odor
One of the clearer signs of infection is an unpleasant odor originating from the wound, often due to bacteria or necrotic (dead) tissue. A sudden, noticeable odor or a change in the smell of the wound should be taken as a serious warning sign. This symptom is particularly important to monitor in wounds dressed and covered for long periods. Tell your mobile wound care provider if you’re experiencing any changes in odor immediately. While a healing wound might have a smell under normal conditions, a distinctly malodorous wound should make any wound care professional cautious. Offensive odors from a wound site are usually a sign of bacterial colonization and infection.

Pus or Other Discharge

Any new discharge, especially pus or a milky, cloudy fluid, is a prominent sign of wound infection. While some clear or slightly yellow fluid can be normal, a shift in color, consistency, or amount of drainage is cause for concern. The appearance of pus or discharge from a chronic wound can often indicate the body is fighting an infection at the wound site. Your mobile wound care provider can educate you on normal or healthy wound drainage so patients and their families can report any immediate or concerning changes.

Redness and Swelling

Infection may lead to increased redness or swelling around the wound. The affected area may also feel warm or hot to the touch. If the redness starts to spread or the swelling increases, it indicates that the infection is worsening. Redness, inflammation, and swelling can occur even if the wound is not painful. Visual inspections of chronic wounds are an essential part of daily care. Tell your mobile wound care provider if you’re seeing any changes to the appearance of your wound.

Fever or Chills

An infected wound may affect the rest of the body when it becomes severe. Systemic symptoms such as fever, chills, and possibly nausea or vomiting indicate the infection has potentially spread beyond the wound itself. These symptoms require immediate medical attention, as they can signify a more serious, potentially life-threatening condition.

Top Rated At-Home Mobile Wound Care Experts in the Greater Atlanta Area

Managing a chronic wound requires attentiveness and responsiveness to changes in its condition. If you or someone you care for experiences these signs, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider promptly. Early treatment not only aids in faster recovery but also prevents more severe complications associated with wound infections. Remember, effective wound care is a critical step toward healing and health.

Reach out for more information or to make an appointment with Preferred Healthcare’s mobile wound care services.

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