What may cause a leg to leak clear fluid in an 86 year old lady? The dressings are being changed every half hr or so. Should she be admitted to the hospital? Her doctor put her on a five day antibiotic, but it continues to leak.
If. If she has an infection (as the antibiotic prescription suggests), that alone could cause some fluid to weep from the site. If not, the causes of fluid leaking from the skin are tied to increased fluid pressure in the tissues. This can be caused by a blockage in the veins or lymphatic ducts that drain the leg, or by severe heart failure or overall fluid overload (as seen with kidney and liver failure). However, in the case of major organ failure, it is unlikely that the leakage would be limited to one leg. It sounds like this is a pretty significant problem with dressings needing to be changed as often as you indicate. Given her age, and the difficulty that she likely has in managing these dressing changes, hospitalization might not be a bad idea. Certainly, if it's been more than a few days since she was seen, and if things are not improving, she should at least be seen again by her doctor.