Healthcare seeking and hospital admissions by people who inject drugs in response to symptoms of injection site infections or injuries in three urban areas of England

V. D. Hope*, Fortune Ncube, John Parry, M. Hickman

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    40 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    People who inject drugs (PWID) are vulnerable to infections and injuries at injection sites. The factors associated with reporting symptoms of these, seeking related advice, and hospital admission are examined. PWID were recruited in Birmingham, Bristol and Leeds using respondent-driven sampling (N = 855). During the preceding year, 48% reported having redness, swelling and tenderness (RST), 19% an abscess, and 10% an open wound at an injection site. Overall, 54% reported ≥1 symptoms, with 45% of these seeking medical advice (main sources emergency departments and General Practitioners). Advice was often sought ≥5 days after the symptom first appeared (44% of those seeking advice about an abscess, 45% about an open wound, and 35% for RST); the majority received antibiotics. Overall, 9·5% reported hospital admission during the preceding year. Ever being diagnosed with septicaemia and endocarditis were reported by 8·8% and 2·9%, respectively. Interventions are needed to reduce morbidity, healthcare burden and delays in accessing treatment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)120-131
    Number of pages12
    JournalEpidemiology and Infection
    Volume143
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2015

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © Cambridge University Press 2014.

    Keywords

    • Epidemiology
    • healthcare
    • people who inject drugs
    • skin infections
    • soft tissue infections

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