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Can cellulitis be managed effectively outside of the hospital?

Three Part Question

Can [patients with uncomplicate cellulitis,requiring iv antibiotics] be [treated outside of the hospital setting] in [an effective way]?

Clinical Scenario

A 19 year olld presents to the ED with redness tracking up the left arm. A diagnosis of cellulitis is made. However, he is going on holiday in 3 days time and is keen not to miss the trip. The patient attends the ED regularly for the administration of iv antibiotics, over 3 days and is then discharged with a 5 day course of oral antibiotics.

Search Strategy

Medline and Pubmnd searches.
Keywords were "cellulitis" and "admission".

Search Outcome

163 articles were produced, 5 were relevant.


Some of the trials included did not take into account all patients with cellulitis or state clearly what their full criteria were for classing a patient as suitable for home iv therapy.

Clinical Bottom Line

Certain criteria are required prior to a patient being considered for home iv therapy, such as age, site of cellulitis and co-morbidity. If these criteria can be met then cellulitis can be treated effectively outside of the hospital and proves to be cost effective as well as giving higher rates of patient satisfaction.