Patient: Hello. I had a 2″ x 2″ abscess drained on my shoulder in the ER last Friday. She packed it with the sterile stuffing and told me to have my dermatologist remove it today. The derm had an emergency and had to change my appointment to Wednesday. My question is, should I pull the packing out myself. I’m on antibiotics and everything seems fine but this seems like an excessive amount of time to have this packing in.
Already Tried: on keflex and bactrim
A packing should not stay for more than 72 hours after abscess drainage as it can harbor infection with the delay. Ideally it should be done by a doctor as it may need a repacking sometimes with the sterile gauze. Going to an urgent care clinic (any walk in clinic) or getting help at your primary care physician would be the best thing to do. If that is not possible, you may do it on your own. Get some sterile gauze and pad from the pharmacy, for the dressing.
Please feel free for your follow up questions.
Patient: got it, thank you for your help. Doing the single mom thing without insurance so I will do it myself and we’ll see how it goes.
Doctor: You are most welcome.
It won’t be difficult and most of the times, it can be done without any hassle.
It is pleasure and privilege assisting you.