Q: How can I tell if my road rash is infected?
It has been two days since your unfortunate motorcycle accident caused the wounds on your legs and forearms. You were riding your motorcycle behind a minivan who had just turned out of Pacci’s. When you approached the intersection at Sligo, you noticed a pizza box on the hood of the car. The next thing you knew, the box flew off the car—catapulting scalding hot pizza all over you. Obviously, you weren’t prepared for this, and wound up crashing your bike to the ground—dragging your body with it.
Although the accident was humorously ridiculous in hindsight, your road rash isn’t funny. Even though you’ve cleaned it and bandaged it, it appears to be getting worse. It stopped bleeding, but it’s really hot to the touch and you can see pus.
Could the wound be infected even though you cleaned it? Even though it’s already been two days, should you go see a doctor?
Symptoms of Infection
Your skin is your first defense against infections and diseases. However, when your skin is scraped, cut, or peeled off, bacteria, infections, and diseases have a clear path into your blood stream. Unfortunately, this is the case for many motorcyclists who experience road rash. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly 200,000 motorcyclists a year suffer from some sort of accident-related road rash.
Studies performed by The Mayo Clinic, as well as the CDC, have also found that an increase of “super bug” infections—MRSA and other antibiotic resistant infections—are becoming more and more common in road rash victims. This is why it is extremely important to be able to recognize signs of infection before becoming too late to treat your infection.
Common symptoms of infection include:
- Redness. Although a wound can become red from mere inflammation, if the redness spreads or gets darker, you may have an infection.
- Increased pain. If the pain worsens over time, an infection may be present.
- Swelling. Swelling is a common side effect of scrapes, but if the swelling doesn’t subside or if it gets worse over time, it could be a sign of an infection.
- Radiating heat. If your wound feels warm to the touch, it could be an indicator that your body is trying to fight off an infection.
- Pulsing. If you feel as though your wound is pulsating you may have an infection.
- Drainage. Any drainage is a classic sign of infection. White blood cells attempt to fight bacteria and fluid is produced as a result of dead cells, bacteria, and toxins.
- Fever. When an infection affects the blood stream, you may experience flu like symptoms such as fatigue and a fever.
Fighting the Infection and Cause
If you experience any of the above symptoms after a road rash accident, seek medical attention immediately. Although it may not seem like a big deal, an infection can cause serious damage to your tissue and bone—even result in poisoning your blood. Don’t take chances and see your doctor.
Fighting an infection can be an exhausting and unnerving experience, but having to fight your insurance company in addition to your injuries can be even worse. We know how frustrating it can be to deal with your injury claim while you’re still recovering. Fortunately, you don’t have to go through it alone.
If you’ve recently been injured in a motorcycle accident and need help, advice, and guidance when filing your injury claim, contact us today. The consultation is free, but we’ll give you the support you need to get the settlement you deserve. We’re waiting to help you.
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