Injection Wound Care
Magnolia Medical Group offers soft tissue injection wound care and treatment in Denver, CO. Get the help you need, call us today!
Using needles to administer drugs can lead to wounds at the injection sites. Puncturing the skin can introduce bacteria and fungi into the wound that can cause disease. Injecting the same spot over and over can lead to vein damage from repetitive wear and tear. Even if you do not share needles with others, reusing the same needles can result in problems such as severe infection risks that may require limb amputation or spread to other parts of the body. You may also be at particular risk for developing a potentially life-threatening condition called wound botulism.
Injection wound treatment is one service that we offer to patients in the Denver area. We evaluate and treat your puncture wound or deeper wounds effectively and without judgment.
Injection Drug Use and Wound Botulism
When you inject drugs with a needle, you have used before, or if you fail to clean the skin first with an alcohol swab, there is a chance of introducing bacteria into the wound that can cause infection. Clostridium botulinum is a species of bacteria that, if it gets into the wound, produces a byproduct that is toxic to humans. This toxin can cause muscle weakness and breathing problems by attacking the nerves. Without injection wound treatment in Denver, it could prove fatal.
Wound botulism is treated with a medication called antitoxin. This treatment counteracts the toxin so that it does not cause any further harm. However, it cannot reverse the damage that has already been done. Therefore, it is important to seek treatment immediately for suspected botulism.
Injecting any illicit drugs carries a risk of developing an infection. However, the risk of wound botulism is greatest with muscling or skin popping black tar heroin. In other words, if you inject the drug directly into your muscle or under your skin, your risk for botulism increases.
How Drug Injections Can Give You Botulism
The bacteria that causes botulism lives in the soil. It is unclear how black tar heroin becomes contaminated with it, but it may occur during any of the following steps:
- Preparation for use
- Mixing or cutting it with other substances
The bacteria can also spread to the equipment used to prepare or inject the contaminated heroin. Using the same works for other drugs can increase the risk for wound botulism through cross-contamination.
Special conditions are required to kill the botulism germ. Heating the heroin is not sufficient. The only way to tell whether the drugs are contaminated or not is through laboratory testing. You cannot tell just by looking at them. While botulism is not contagious, if you share contaminated works with another person, you may both end up with wound botulism and potentially expose one another to other pathogens that may require injection wound treatment.
What To Watch For
Once introduced into the body, it takes time for the bacteria to multiply and produce the toxin. Therefore, it may be several days or weeks after injecting the contaminated drugs that you start experiencing symptoms of wound botulism. Early symptoms include the following:
- Blurred or double vision
- Difficulty swallowing
- Drooping eyelids
- Dry mouth
- Muscle weakness
- Slurred speech
- Thick-feeling tongue
These symptoms are similar to those of opioid overdose. If receiving a dose of naloxone does not resolve the symptoms, you should seek medical attention right away to assess for botulism.
Over time, botulism can produce more serious symptoms of paralysis or difficulty breathing. Left untreated, a chronic wound can eventually be life-threatening.
Magnolia Medical Group of Denver Can Help With Injection Wound Treatment
Seeking medical treatment immediately for wound care at the injection site increases the chances of healing. Wound botulism and other soft tissue infections may lead to death or cause other long-term complications. For example, a limb with an infection that does not heal on its own and is resistant to treatment may eventually have to be amputated.
Nevertheless, we know it is difficult for you to seek medical care and attention for injection wounds. You may have had a bad experience in the past with health care providers who showed a negative or judgmental attitude toward you. You may be afraid to admit that you have been using drugs or worried that a prolonged hospital stay may cause you to go into withdrawal.
At Magnolia Medical Group, our primary concern is treating your extremity wounds to avoid long-term complications. Our wound care nurse and staff is highly skilled, helpful, compassionate, and provides a nonjudgmental treatment option. Effective treatment of injection wounds requires an accurate diagnosis, which we can only make if you are completely honest and direct with us about your recent drug use, especially when it occurred and the substance involved.
Contact us immediately for medical care treatment of injection-related wounds. If you are also ready to stop using completely, we can also help you take the necessary steps toward recovery.