Recognizing whether a cut is infected is necessary for proper wound care. It also helps individuals who have been injured in this way to avoid serious complications. After all, some infections can be much worse than the initial injury that inspired them. It’s important for those who have been injured to know that an infection is setting in as soon as possible so that they can seek proper care.
How can you tell that an injury is getting infected? Maybe you suffered a serious laceration in a car accident, a bike accident or a dog bite incident. What should you look for? Below are some common signs that a cut or wound may be infected.
Potential infection indicators
These signs alone don’t always mean a cut is infected, but they can be a red flag indicating that you should talk to a doctor.
- Increased Pain: While some pain is normal with a fresh cut, if the pain intensifies rather than subsides over time or becomes more severe, it could indicate an infection.
- Redness and Swelling: A wound that becomes increasingly red, swollen or warm to the touch might be infected. This redness may spread outward from the wound.
- Pus or Discharge: If the cut starts producing pus, which can be yellow, green or cloudy in appearance, it’s a sign of infection. Be cautious if the discharge has an unpleasant odor.
- Increased Sensitivity or Warmth: The area around the wound might become more sensitive or tender, and it might feel warmer than the surrounding skin.
- Fever: A systemic sign of infection can be the outbreak of a fever. If you notice an elevated body temperature along with other signs of infection, it’s important to seek medical attention.
- Delayed Healing: An infected cut may not show signs of improvement or healing. If a wound doesn’t seem to be getting better or is taking longer than expected to heal, it could be infected.
- Red Streaks: Red streaks extending from the wound toward the heart can indicate a spreading infection. This requires immediate medical attention.
Prompt medical care may be necessary if you notice these signs and symptoms. An untreated infection can get worse and may even be fatal, so you do not want to delay. Naturally, the medical care that you need after such an injury can be very expensive. Be sure you know how to seek financial compensation if your injury was caused by another’s recklessness, negligence, or intentional conduct.