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Thread: Treating of an I.V. miss/abcess

  1. #1
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    Twiddles will become famous soon enoughTwiddles will become famous soon enough

    Default Treating of an I.V. miss/abcess

    I am well aware that I.V. drug use is stupid and dangerous. So please refrain from telling me I should not do it. I do appreciate the thoughts but what's done is done.

    Now for my issue. Today I prepped my shot of D's and successfully found a vein and verified it by drawing back and seeing blood enter the syringe. About halfway through the injection I felt pressure, so I checked and drew back again to see blood, and I did. So I had assumed there was no problem.

    But needless to say it is not ok. I now have a painful lump on my forearm. it is swollen and red. I have had a bag of frozen peas on the site for about an hour now. I do not want this to turn to a full blown abcess.

    Does anyone know of any home remedies that could help me?

    Any bit of advice would mean the world to me. Thank you


  2. #2
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    @chyle20009
    Aspiration, or drawing the syringe back after injection to see if you hit the vein, is not a bulletproof measure because, for example, if you went through the vein then aspirated a second time, you would still see blood, but would be unaware that you pushed the needle in too far and went through the vein instead of into it. In such a scenario, the second half of your contents could have spilled into the surrounding tissue causing cellulitis, or "diffuse inflammation of the tissue". Why is this bad? Because your skin has bacteria on it, streptococcus and/or staphyloccus, which you are unaware of and does not cause infection with intact skin. This is called normal microbial flora. But when you break the barrier with a needle, if you have not properly disinfected the skin with betadine and an alcohol rub, then the tip of the needle will push that bacteria into one of the three layers of skin tissue. Cellulitis then develops and subsequent infection can result in a life-threatening condition.

    @sparkledanzinger's advice is to seek immediate medical care. I URGE YOU TO GO TO AN URGENT CARE CLINIC OR ER IMMEDIATELY. The treatment of cellulitis is antibiotics, and if it gets bad enough (if you do not go right away to the ER or urgent care clinic) it can swell enough and produce enough pus inside that it will require the doctors to do an I&D, or incision and drainage. Essentially, they cut into the skin to drain the pus, flush it out with normal saline, then pack the hole with anti-bacterial iodoform gauze until the hole can fill in with naturally produced granulation tissue. The longer you wait, the worse it will get, and the greater the chances are that antibiotics will not be enough and you will need minor surgical intervention.

    Do not attempt to cut in and drain the swelling yourself. You do not have proper equipment or expertise or antibiotics. An ice pack will NOT slow the inflammation, nor will a cold bag of vegatables from the freezer. Vitamin C, K, grapefruit or natural and/or home remedies will NOT be effective whatsoever. Your diet is irrelevant, until you have been treated. Once you have been treated by a medical professional, THEN you should eat lots of protein to help rebuild the tissue. Finally, a heat pack will only add insult to injury, and if anything will speed up the inflammation process.

    YOU MUST SEEK MEDICAL HELP IMMEDIATELY. DO NOT FEAR THE "STIGMA" OF BEING LABELED A DRUG USER.

    If you want to keep your drug-using secret, here is a good story for you: your friend is a medic and taught you how to give yourself an IV when dehydrated after a hangover (this is true when I was in the Army, as I was the medic, and I self-injected an IV catheter to treat my own hangovers, and taught others to do the same, giving them IV bags and catheters). Your friend gave you an IV bag and catheter and needle but you did not bother, in your ignorance, to use an alcohol wipe to disinfect the skin before injection. After it start to hurt while the saline solution was going into the site, you pulled out the catheter and decided to seek professional medical help.

    I have had cellulitis before, with a MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) infection on my neck, and they had to cut and drain it. I've had a staph infection on my shoulder, and they had to cut and drain it. The latter one hurt a lot, because I had let it go for days. The longer you let it go, the more it will hurt to treat. And the longer the healing process will take. Believe me, you don't want to go through that. SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION NOW.
    Helpful dusteddisgusted, riverstyx Rated helpful

  3. How are you doing now? What happened? I agree with QVC1212 above, this is potentially dangerous. If you were in a third world country, I'd advise you to take two relatively cheap antibiotics - Bactrim and Keflex - BOTH, as this combination will often effectively treat the Community Aquired strain of MRSA.

  4. #4
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    McBain will become famous soon enoughMcBain will become famous soon enoughMcBain will become famous soon enough

    I had this happen not with an iv shot but a im shot of test. I had the same side effects and was perscribed Cephexalin something close to that, 500mg, three times day and went away.

    I did it in the thigh and my whole leg got red and swolen. i went to hospital and was there for three days....SUCKED

    McBain

  5. Back when I was an i.v. drug user, I had quite a few times where I missed. I was lucky enough not to ever have an abcess, although I think my doc (and its purity) as well as the fact that I was totally anal about disinfecting everything helped. I would take QVC1212's advice and get it looked at before it turns into a major problem. In my area, there are a bunch of free clinics that cater to low/no income/drug addicts, and will ask minimal, if any, questions. From one of your previous posts, you alluded to already having something in your medical records about drug use, so it's not like you'd be letting them know something they already don't. I would focus on the free clinics. No questions asked, and they are used to seeing this kind of thing.

  6. #6
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    Twiddles will become famous soon enoughTwiddles will become famous soon enough

    Luckily it went away on it's own. I was ready to go to the clinic and had my appointment made, and then it just started to go down. I am very lucky and wish that this route of administration was easier to give up.

    I have to mention a recent expirience I had in regards to this topic.

    I went to a friends house, an I.V. user, and we proceeded to chat and such, like nothing was wrong. About an hour into my visit he told me to look at his arm, in a slightly joking tone. I looked down to the usual shooting site for most, the upper arm, and I saw the most atrocious abcess of my life. I have looked them up on the internet and still have never seen something of this caliber.

    If I had to describe the size, the closest thing I would relate it to would be a grapefruit cut in half, if not slightly bigger. The base of the mass was enflamed and red, even the area of skin surrounding it was firey red. As I looked further up the mass I noticed the midsection was a deep red, almost black. But now comes the real kicker. He had lanced the very top of this thing. The top was open and moist with white puss. He had opened it up to the point where the gaping hole in the abcess was slightly smaller than a dime.

    I was completely taken aback. I urged him and essentially begged him to go into the doctor before he ended up losing a limb. I told him about my recent expirience and the feedback I had gotten on this forum and he finally decided he needed medical attention.

    He had a warrant out for his arrest, so instead of making an appointment at the local clinic he decided to just turn himself in and request medical attention at the county jail.

    That was about a week ago, I have yet to hear anything from him. But your guys' posts and helpful information may have saved that man's arm or possibly more.
    and a special thanks to @QVC1212
    Very detailed and helpful post
    Last edited by Twiddles; 04-27-2011 at 02:11 PM.
    Helpful riverstyx Rated helpful
    A year from now you may wish you had started today

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by chyle2009 View Post
    Luckily it went away on it's own. I was ready to go to the clinic and had my appointment made, and then it just started to go down. I am very lucky and wish that this route of administration was easier to give up.

    I have to mention a recent expirience I had in regards to this topic.

    I went to a friends house, an I.V. user, and we proceeded to chat and such, like nothing was wrong. About an hour into my visit he told me to look at his arm, in a slightly joking tone. I looked down to the usual shooting site for most, the upper arm, and I saw the most atrocious abcess of my life. I have looked them up on the internet and still have never seen something of this caliber.

    If I had to describe the size, the closest thing I would relate it to would be a grapefruit cut in half, if not slightly bigger. The base of the mass was enflamed and red, even the area of skin surrounding it was firey red. As I looked further up the mass I noticed the midsection was a deep red, almost black. But now comes the real kicker. He had lanced the very top of this thing. The top was open and moist with white puss. He had opened it up to the point where the gaping hole in the abcess was slightly smaller than a dime.

    I was completely taken aback. I urged him and essentially begged him to go into the doctor before he ended up losing a limb. I told him about my recent expirience and the feedback I had gotten on this forum and he finally decided he needed medical attention.

    He had a warrant out for his arrest, so instead of making an appointment at the local clinic he decided to just turn himself in and request medical attention at the county jail.

    That was about a week ago, I have yet to hear anything from him. But your guys' posts and helpful information may have saved that man's arm or possibly more.
    and a special thanks to @QVC1212
    Very detailed and helpful post


    I used to use IV drugs and what you described has happened to me several times, it could have been that you went right through the vein, but that ususally doesn't go away on its own, or your arm could have just been very irritated, I am glad you did decide to go to get medical help because nothing is worth losing an arm or leg over..I do know people who drain their own abessses, but I have always gotten medical help..I do hope your friend is ok, more than one person has died using the doctors at the local jail, I wish he would have gone to the hospital first..Being 56 years old, I have seen a lot of things and lost a lot of friends, and your friends abcess sounds life threntening to me..Please let us know how he is doing..I just want you to know that I would never judge you or scold you because I have been where you are, so if you ever feel you need to talk to someone who knows what you are going through, feel free to PM me anytime..Most of the time when people judge it is because of their ignorance, they just know what they have read and face it, most of the stuff written about IV drug use is bad..People still look down on me because I have been on methadone maintenance since 2001, they think that all junkies are like what they used to see on the old cop shows like Starsky+ hutch..So not true..Take care and be good to yourself

    FrankiesMom
    Do something nice for someone and don't tell anyone about it..

  8. #8
    riverstyx is offline Banned Reason: Promoting a rival forum, spreading lies about this site
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    no, not me. but, i am glad u trusted this forum enough to help u. and u listened. qvc was awesome (medically and with a really plausible story to boot.) and then u helped ur friend.
    let us know how he is.
    and, we r here, should u want to talk.
    take care please.

  9. #9
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    GoldenEagle will become famous soon enoughGoldenEagle will become famous soon enough

    This is why it's very, very important to use an alcohol pad to clean the site before injecting. You should really get checked out by a doc ASAP. Please follow QVC's advice, he made a great post.

    I'm an IV drug user and have used dilaudid over a thousand times. I even blew out all my arm veins and have to now use the ones in my hand.
    Always be GOLDEN!

  10. #10
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    Twiddles will become famous soon enoughTwiddles will become famous soon enough

    I would like to thank you all for your interest and your help throughout this whole ordeal.

    Luckily I turned out fine, but I often wonder what happened to that friend of mine. You all may have saved his life.

    These forums are so much more than just a place to find "Hook ups". They help people with physical and emotional issues as well.

    I am so very happy that I found a place like this. And as long as everyone uses common sense and shares their personal expiriences, this website will continue on. We don't want to end up like DB.

    So let's all be careful about posting (I myself recently messed up) and just enjoy the wealth of knowledge that is given to us.

    -Chyle2009
    A year from now you may wish you had started today


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