Erysipela is a common skin infection readily found in patients with venous insufficiency or lymphedema. The aim of this work was to measure the incidence of erysipela in a spa resort specialized in the treatment of venous and lymphatic diseases and to evaluate the influence of a preventive strategy principally based on education of patients at risk.
PATIENTS AND METHODS:
The measurement of incidence was based on the detection of the reasons for which the patients did not attend their thermal care sessions. Quality control was obtained from the reports of cases diagnosed by local private and public health care centers.
The incidence of erysipela in this high risk population was 40.2 and 48.5 cases for 1000 persons per exposure-year in 1993 and 1994 respectively. The preventive strategy carried out was able to induce a reduction of 65% during the next years (p<0.01).
This study confirms the high incidence of erysipela in subjects with severe venous insufficiency or lymphedema and the efficacy of an active educational preventive strategy.