Opposition to Routine Culturing of Skin and Soft Tissue Abscesses

Reaffirmed January 2024

Revised February 2018

Originally approved October 2012 titled "Opposition to Routine Abscess Culturing", originated as CR18


The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) opposes any recommendation and/or requirement that skin and soft tissue abscesses be cultured routinely.

Consider obtaining abscess cultures in selected patients, including patients with signs and symptoms of systemic illness, recurrent infection, or immunosuppression.

ACEP is supportive of notifying patients with positive cultures; however, ACEP opposes federal or state legislation and/or regulation that requires an attending physician to be the person who contacts and notifies patients of positive cultures.

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