News reports in January 2022 on a nine-year-old Bristol boy going almost blind after contracting a rare Coronavirus side effect called Orbital Cellulitis created ripples of shock and concern.
Zac Morey’s Cellulitis infection caused his left eye to swell up and completely blocked his vision less than a week after testing positive for the virus.
Credit: Daily Mail
The Daily Mail quoted his mother, Angela, as describing Zac’s “eye looked like it was going to explode”.
Zac was referred to the Bristol Eye Hospital after a remote consultation with his GP. At the hospital, he was diagnosed with Orbital Cellulitis infection, accorded antibiotics treatment and has since recovered.
Badly-shaken by the experience, his family is alerting others of the risk of blindness faced if the Cellulitis infection had gotten too deep.
Not the only case
There have been reports of similar conditions in Brazil and the United States. Thankfully, Zac’s case is rare. Most cases are mild, but taking Cellulitis infection lightly can come with a price, especially with threats such as the Coronavirus very much prevalent.
The right diagnosis, early detection, accurate treatment, including the right regime of Cellulitis antibiotics, are crucial in dealing with cases such as Zac’s. In his case, his mother was alert enough to immediately seek remote consultation before he was administered the right diagnosis and Cellulitis antibiotics treatment.
It is convenient to dismiss Cellulitis infection as minor, requiring nothing more than some off-the-shelf medication and ample rest as treatment.
In some cases, they disappear over time but not seeking a diagnosis or medical treatment which includes Cellulitis antibiotics, exposes a patient to greater risks and dangers – even deaths.
What is Cellulitis?
For such a common ailment, not many know it by its medical name. It could easily be confused with Cellulite, a condition when lumpy, puckered or dimpled skin surface normally around the thighs, stomach and buttocks due to fat collection.
Cellulitis is a common bacterial infection caused by pathogens (disease-causing organism) entering an open wound or breaking through the skin. Shaving nicks, animal bites, paper cuts, injections, tattoos, body piercings, or the simple act of scratching can cause skin punctures.
It is not contagious and commonly causes red or orange swelling, mostly in the lower legs (often called Cellulitis leg) or thighs (thigh Cellulitis) but can also develop in other parts of the body.
Facial Cellulitis, which develops around the eyes, nose, and cheeks, is also common, as do Preseptal Cellulitis, Periorbital Cellulitis and Bullous Cellulitis.
Staphylococcus and Streptococcus bacteria, both treatable with antibiotics.
Swelling or red/orange inflamed areas of skin
Pain and tenderness
Tight, glossy skin over infected area
Feeling of warmth
Abscess or pus-filled pockets
Complications requiring immediate medical attention can emerge due to ineffective treatment or when patients don’t seek treatment. They include:
An infection of the soft tissues of the eye socket, commonly affecting young children. This type of facial infection occurs behind the orbital septum, a thin tissue which divides the eyelid from the eye socket. FWithout proper antibiotics treatment, it could lead to blindness, or other life-threatening risks.
Facial infection of the eyelid and surrounding anterior of the orbital septum.
Infection of the eyelid and area around the eye.
Infection of the soft tissues that starts with an itchy rash, and can lead to blisters should the condition worsens. Such conditions can take a long time to heal, and sometimes cause other serious problems.
Commonly referred to as the flesh-eating infection, it can rapidly spread to all parts of the body, including facial and leg areas, muscles, organs and connective tissues. It requires emergency treatment. The right diagnosis, antibiotics treatment and surgery can prevent fatality.
Septicemia, or sepsis, is the clinical name for blood poisoning by bacteria. It can be fatal without the right treatment.
Dead tissue is another name for gangrene, caused by cutting blood supply to the tissue. Gangrene can spread if not given proper treatment. Amputation is a fairly common recourse, with even fatalities recorded among gangrene sufferers.
Essentially, it is a pocket of pus developing under the skin or between layers of skin. It may develop at or near an injury, cut, or bite. Surgery will be necessary to drain the infected fluid.
Untreated Cellulitis infection can lead to exposure to Meningitis. It is a very serious infection caused by the inflammation of the membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis could be life threatening or lead to brain damage.
It is a condition when the body’s lymph system responsible for draining waste products, toxins, and trapping germs gets obstructed, leading to swelling and inflammation. This, too, requires emergency treatment.
Cellulitis infection is often caused by Staphylococcus, a type of bacteria but a more serious type of bacteria, known as MRSA, can also cause Cellulitis. MRSA is resistant to many of the antibiotics that can treat normal infections.
Perianal streptococcal cellulitis
Commonly occurs in children with strep throat (sore and scratchy throat) or a cold, showing up as rash around the anus and rectum. Perianal strep is spread when bacteria from the throat and nose makes its way to a child’s bottom usually after using the toilet .
Signs of Complications
Severe muscle aches
Persistent nausea and vomiting
Cellulitis infection is often easily treated with a course of antibiotics administered via treatments comprising injections, pills, or topical antibiotics.
Most infections heal within 7 to 10 days with a regular course of Cellulitis antibiotics. Patients with severe Cellulitis infections or weakened immune systems may require longer or stronger antibiotics treatment.
However, complications or side effects are likely to crop up without accurate diagnosis and antibiotics treatment. These can even be life threatening or fatal.
The likelihood of complications is higher if you don’t get antibiotics treatment for persisting Cellulitis infection. Seek immediate medical treatment if you see any signs of infection, such as swelling, red rash, or fever.
If you have Cellulitis infection, are on antibiotics and notice the symptoms worsening, you should consult a doctor, undergo a checkup and possibly a different antibiotics treatment plan.
Consulting your doctor, getting the right diagnosis and medical care are crucial in determining the underlying causes of your Cellulitis infection, its antibiotics remedies and to deter risks of complications that may arise in the future.
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There is a growing compelling case for patients to opt for home care as studies have shown that they recover faster than in a hospital. Leading the charge to meet the pressing needs of patient-care services, Speedoc H-Ward® has developed an integrated one-stop solution replicating hospital set-ups in your home, offering services such as:
Home visits by doctors and nurses
Dedicated patient care teams providing 24/7 virtual ward care and monitoring
Telemedicine and ambulance services
Medical and digital device integration for effective monitoring
Breakthrough practices have created the option of essentially bringing the facilities of a hospital into your home, giving rise to a host of benefits:
No more long hospital stays or daily trips
Quality care by mobile medical team of experts
Deters burnouts among family caregivers via external care and monitoring assistance
Daily routines at home could continue for both patient and caregiver
A patient’s needs such as medical reviews, 24/7 nursing, intravenous therapies or blood tests, can be customised.
In the case of Cellulitis treatment and care, our carefully-designed Speedoc H-Ward® Cellulitis home care programme provides an integrated, one-stop solution for patients seeking the option of quality care within the comfortable confines of their own abode.
The 5-day programme consists of doctor and nurses home visits, daily wound dressing, intravenous administration of antibiotics, and teleconsultation of laboratory investigations – all within the comfort and safety of your home.