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Lancet Infect Dis. 2005 Aug;5(8):501-13.

Rapidly progressive soft tissue infections.

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  • 1Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.


Skin and soft tissue infections are among the most common reasons for people to seek medical advice. They also represent one of the most common indications for antimicrobial therapy and account for approximately 7-10% of hospitalisations in North America. Although non-limb and non-life threatening infections may be treated on an out-patient basis with oral antibiotics, patients with more serious acute skin and soft tissue infections may require admission to hospital for management; this decision is especially true if the infection is rapidly progressive. We provide a concise overview of the differential diagnosis and approach to management of community-acquired rapidly progressive skin and soft tissue infections.

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