March 14, 2002
Question from Fayettteville, Georgia, USA:
My 43 year old obese sister, who has type 2 diabetes and is on insulin, developed a sore on her right buttock so she went to her doctor and asked the doctor to lance the wound, but the doctor refused and prescribed an antibiotic. She then developed sepsis leading to kidney and respiratory failure. Should the doctor have lanced the wound? Was the prescription of an antibiotic proper?
I am very sorry about your sister. It sounds like the infection got out of control. Whether the wound should have been lanced or not is a clinical decision based on the condition at the time the doctor saw your sister. I am not able to tell whether the correct decision was made.