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What are signs of an infected open wound?

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2023 | Personal Injury |

Auto accidents can cause different kinds of open wounds depending on the severity of the crash. It is important to receive medical attention as soon as possible, and not just to stop any bleeding you experience. An open wound also exposes your body to dangerous infections.

Even wounds that do not seriously bleed may cause you to pick up bacteria. Healthline explains some possible signs that your wound has acquired an infection.

Wound symptoms

Drainage from a wound is not unusual and sometimes happens from a wound that is healing. However, an infected wound can generate additional drainage. The wound may also secrete thick pus and give off a rotten smell.

Even if doctors have treated your wound, pay attention to how long it takes to heal. A wound that does not get better has probably received an infection.

Other health problems

A wound infection can seriously degrade the skin through necrotizing fasciitis, a condition that destroys skin and muscle tissue. If left untreated, you could experience sepsis. Cellulitis, another kind of skin infection, may also cause dangerous complications. Some wound patients experience lockjaw, a condition that creates contractions in the neck and jaw muscles.

Pay attention to a fever you experience following a wound injury. Fevers of 100.4°F that do not fade after four hours may be a sign that your body is fighting off an infection. A lump that develops in your armpit or groin could also indicate a wound infection.

Doctors deal with wounds depending on the nature of the injury. You might need a tetanus shot or antibiotics if your physician suspects you are at risk of infection. Such measures may prevent more serious health complications.