Abscess Drainage: Caring for your child at home after the procedure

​Your child has had an abscess drained. This brochure explains how to look after your child at home after the procedure, and when to call for help.

When to see a doctor

Call your child's doctor or go to the nearest Emergency Department right away if your child shows any of these symptoms:

  • fever over 38°C (100.4°F)
  • throwing up (vomiting) that does not stop
  • severe pain at or near the drainage site
  • bleeding or swelling around the drainage site
  • significant discharge through the drainage site
  • dizziness
  • pale skin
  • general weakness and feeling tired

Dressing care

Leave the dressing on for 24 hours before removing it. If the dressing gets wet or soiled before then, remove it and replace it with a clean Band-Aid®.

Bathing

Your child can have a bath or shower the day after the drainage procedure. However, try to keep the bandage dry.

Meals

If your child is feeling well enough after the anaesthetic, they can return to eating what they normally eat. It is important to encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids for 48 hours after the procedure. 

Pain relief

If needed, give your child acetaminophen (Tylenol®) for pain. Do not give your child any medicines that will thin the blood, such as ASA (Aspirin®) or ibuprofen (Advil® or Motrin®), without checking with a nurse or your child's doctor first. 

Activity

After the abscess drainage procedure​, your child will need to rest and stay home from school or day care. Make sure they avoids any physical activity for the first two days (48 hours). Your child may return to school 48 hours after the drainage procedure.

Key points

  • Leave the dressing on for 24 hours before removing it. If it gets wet or soiled before then, replace it with a clean Band-Aid®.
  • Give your child acetaminophen​ (Tylenol®) for pain.
  • Your child can go to school and resume regular activity 48 hours after the drainage procedure.
  • If your child develops bright red bleeding or pus at the site, vomits, is pale, tired, or has severe pain, go to the nearest Emergency Department.

Joao Amaral, MD

Adam Rapoport, MD, FRCPC

Candice Sockett, RN(EC), MN:APN

3/27/2013

At SickKids:

 
If you have any concerns in the first 48 hours, call the IGT clinic during working hours at (416) 813-6054 and ask to speak to an IGT nurse. After 48 hours, please call your referring doctor. If you have concerns and it is after working hours, see your family doctor or go to the nearest Emergency Department, or call the Hospital for Sick Children switchboard at (416) 813-1500 and ask them to page your specialist or the interventional radiologist on call.




Notes: