Bacterial infections and skin cleaning prior to injection among intravenous drug users

D. Vlahov, M. Sullivan, J. Astemborski, K. E. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In a survey of 1,057 active intravenous drug users in Baltimore, MD, who were recruited through extensive community outreach, 12 reported endocarditis and 113 reported subcutaneous abscesses in the 6 months before being interviewed. Of all the persons surveyed, 556 reported cleaning their skin prior to injection at any time and 173 reported cleaning their skin all the time in the 6 months before the interview. The frequency of subcutaneous abscesses was lower among those who reported skin cleaning all the time; a similar trend was noted for frequency of endocarditis. The relatively simple procedure of encouraging intravenous drug users to clean their skin prior to injection will not eliminate but might reduce the frequency of these serious and expensive infectious complications of intravenous drug use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)595-598
Number of pages4
JournalPublic health reports
Volume107
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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