Background: In the era of increased prevalence of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), there have been a number of questions and several recent studies that address the clinical management of uncomplicated abscesses in the emergency department (ED). Discussion: We examine the historical and clinical predictors for MRSA in patients with an uncomplicated abscess and review the evidence behind the use of wound cultures, decolonization, antibiotics, irrigation, and packing after incision and drainage. We found that current recommendations and treatment guidelines are often based on limited data, expert opinion, and anecdotal experience. Conclusion: In light of the data currently available, antibiotics and decolonization should be used selectively, not routinely, for treatment of most uncomplicated abscesses. Wound cultures are generally not necessary in the ED, and all patients should be given return precautions for worsening symptoms.
- community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
- incision and drainage
- wound care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine