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Cartilage-piercing infections.

An outbreak of severe infections following upper ear piercings has been linked to contaminated antiseptic solution.

Fifteen people became infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa following upper ear piercing at a single body-art parlor.

Nine of the patients infected with Pseudomonas required hospitalization and treatment with intravenous antibiotics and surgery, reported Caroline G. Fisher of the Monroe County Department of Public Health in Rochester, N.Y., and her colleagues.

A case-control study involving the 15 patients and 61 controls showed that compared with noncartilage piercings, cartilage piercing at the helix, combined with the use of an antiseptic solution provided by the parlor, was associated with a 1,000-fold increase in infection risk (Am. J. Prev. Med. 2005;29:204-9).

It was determined that the solution, which is not effective against Pseudomonas, was contaminated during mixing. The findings underscore the risks associated with cartilage piercing and the need for safe and appropriate procedures.

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Title Annotation:Clinical Capsules
Publication:Family Practice News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2005
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