Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Clinical Signs and Symptoms of Infection

Non-limb-threatening Infection

Limb-threatening Infection

Superficial infection

  • Non-healing
  • Bright red granulation tissue
  • Friable and exuberant granulation
  • New areas of breakdown or necrosis
  • Increased exudates
  • Bridging  of soft tissue and the epithelium
  • Foul odour

Deep wound infection

  • Pain
  • Swelling, induration
  • Erythema (> 2 cm)
  • Wound breakdown
  • Increased size or satellite areas Undermining or tunneling
  • Probing to bone
  • Anorexia
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Erratic glucose control

Systemic infection

In addition to deep wound infection:

  • Fever
  • Rigour
  • Chills
  • Hypotension Multi-organ failure
Chronic Disease
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Point of Care Resources