Antibiotic Preventative Therapy for LE Related Cellulitis
May 11, 2009
The protocol I use and recommend comes directly from all my doctors over thelast forty years including infectious disease doctors, so it isn't just alayman's suggestion. It is also supported by several of our well known LEdoctors that I have discussed it with.You can not treat cellulitis in an individual as if it was just a simpleinfection. One must remember
(1) A lymphedema limb is a immuno-compromised limb.
(2) As such any infection must be treat immediately to prevent spread anddditional lymphatic damage and complications such as gangrene and/or sepsis. Because of the limb being immuno-compromised the infection WILL spread rapidlywithout immediate care.
(3.) When you do go to the doc, they will look at the leg and prescribe sometype of antiibiotic. And...guess what????? When they do so, they don't have aclue as to the specific bacteria that is causing the infection.
There are only two ways you can tell the specifics. First, if you took anactual biopsy/culture of the infected area. This is almost never done anymore and is absolutely not what a LE patient needs to have - an open wound in the midst of infected tissue.
The second way is to do a blood culture. But, the only way you can identify thebacterium in a blood culture is if you are already septic or rather if theinfection has become systemic. You must in no uncertain terms wait for this tohappen.
Finally, time is absolutely essential here. Here's the scenario about waitingthat so many have expressed.
You call your doctor. Generally, they will/might say that can't see you today -perhaps tomorrow - perhaps whenever. To wait is not acceptable.
Or - they do tell you to come in and they prescribe an antibiotic as I saidpreviously without identifying the bacteria.
Or - they will say go to the ER. Here's the problem with that. In a leadingCanadian hospital, they found that cellulitis was incorrectly diagnosed andimproperly treated in 30% of the ER cases in their distinguished hospital. Thisis just my opinion - but that isn't a record I frankly would want to put my lifeon the line for.
Then you wait, possible again for hours. Then, more and more they give you abag of cancomycin and send you home.
This is bad for two reasons:
(1) Vanco should be used as a last line antibacterial defense. Use of it as animmediate frontline med is what is truely helping create the super duper bugs.
Bacterial infections fall into two broad groups. What is called gram-positive or what isreferred to as gram-negative. What most doctors would do is presribe a longer term broad spectrum antibiotic that is capable of hitting both types of bacteria.
(2) Giving you one bag of Vanco and sending you home very well could be aprescription for disaster. Most cellulitis is simply not going to be eliminatedby one bag of super antibiotic.Why? Well, first if you have fibrosis, this is going to make it very very hardfor the antibiotic to penetrate to areas where the bacterial may be hiding. One"hit" may not do the job.Secondly, we are talking about limbs that are greatly enlarged with a lot ofextra fluid - greatly diluting the antibiotic.