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Infectious Diseases

Staph infection in the hand



Thank you so much for your time. I am a 37yr.female. I have a concern about a hand infection. About 3 weeks ago I punctured my hand. It seemed quite minor, but became infected. I was sent to a hand surgeon who put me on Keflex 4x a day. I was given one day of IV antibiotics. Despite treatment the swelling has moved all the way from my hand over my elbow. About 3 days ago the hand surgeon opened the wound and put a drain in and cultured it. He said if it didn`t improve in a couple of days I would need to be hospitalized. I went back the next day and saw a different hand doc. (mine was out of town). He said the culture showed gram positive bacteria, but no specifics yet. It had only been a day. I go back tomorrow and hopefully find out what the culture grew and whether I am on the right antibiotic. Here is why I am worried. I have had MRSA infections 3x in the last 2 yrs. The first was in my pacemaker. I had to have the entire unit removed and relocated to the opposite side. I also developed a couple of very serious MRSA infections in the bones in my sinuses. I was put on vancomycin for the pacer infection and zyvox for the sinus. I am beginning to fear that this infection in my hand could spread to my pacemaker again if it does not get better soon. Do you think I should try to get back in to see my infectious disease specialist to get her take on the situation, or just stick it out with the hand surgeons. They don`t know my history of serious infections, and I am worried that I should have made it more known. Please share any advice you might have. What are the odds of this spreading to the pacemaker again? Thank you so very much.


MRSA infection can certainly cause a deep seated infection of the pacemaker as it has a tendency to cause endovascular infections. I think you would benefit from seeing your infectious disease specialist who already knows about your previous bouts with MRSA infections in addition to following up with your hand surgeon. 

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Response by:

Pamposh   Kaul, MD Pamposh Kaul, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati