When is an abscess more than an abscess? Syringe services programs and the harm reduction safety-net: A case report

Marcus Castillo, Margaret E.C. Ginoza, Tyler S. Bartholomew, David W. Forrest, Cestaki Greven, David P. Serota, Hansel E. Tookes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Syringe services programs (SSPs) are able to offer wrap-around services for people who inject drugs (PWID) and improve health outcomes. Case presentation: A 47-year-old man screened positive for a skin and soft tissue infection (SSTI) at an SSP and was referred to a weekly on-site student-run wound care clinic. He was evaluated by first- and third-year medical students, and volunteer attending physicians determined that the infection was too severe to be managed on site. Students escorted the patient to the emergency department, where he was diagnosed with a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus arm abscess as well as acute HIV infection. Conclusion: Student-run wound care clinics at SSPs, in conjunction with ongoing harm reduction measures, screenings, and treatment services, provide a safety-net of care for PWID and help mitigate the harms of injection drug use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number34
JournalHarm Reduction Journal
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

Keywords

  • Abscess
  • PWID
  • SSTI
  • Student clinic
  • Syringe services program
  • Wound care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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