Skin surface temperature: A possible new outcome measure for skin and soft tissue infection

Michael Montalto, Fletcher Davies, Natalie Marijanovic, Andrew Meads

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    Abstract

    Background: This study describes the novel use of skin surface temperature to measure the severity and the response to treatment of skin and soft tissue infection (SSTI)Methods: Patients admitted with SSTI for intravenous antibiotic therapy. Skin temperature was measured daily at the point of maximum heat on the SSTI affected limb and the non-affected limb using a non-contact laser thermometer.Findings: Sixty-three patients were included. Mean length of stay was 4.95 days. The difference between affected and unaffected limb was 3.5° C (95% CI 3.0-3.9) at day one and 2.1° C (95% CI 1.7-2.6) on the last day, a difference of 1.4° C (95% CI 0.7-1.9). Between day one and the last day, there was a significant reduction in affected limb temperature (mean reduction of 2.4° C, 95% CI 1.9-3.0 p<0.001). Skin surface temperature may hold a useful role in the management of SSTI.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)653-657
    Number of pages5
    JournalAustralian Family Physician
    Volume42
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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    Montalto, M., Davies, F., Marijanovic, N., & Meads, A. (2013). Skin surface temperature: A possible new outcome measure for skin and soft tissue infection. Australian Family Physician, 42(8), 653-657.