Biofilm and Infected Wounds

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

By the WoundSource Editors

The venous leg ulcer (VLU) is the most common type of chronic leg wound, and it can be challenging to manage. VLUs account for up to 90% of all chronic leg ulcers. Proper diagnosis and treatment planning are key to wound healing outcomes. This fact is particularly true for older adults, who have an annual VLU prevalence of 1.7%.

Alton R. Johnson Jr.'s picture
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Wound Cleansing Techniques

By Alton R. Johnson, Jr, DPM

I can hear it now: "Alton! Don't forget to wash your hands." That's the voice of my grandmother I hear anytime I needed to wash my hands after using the lavatory, before and after treating patients, and before eating. However, I also have the voice of my residency director in my head issuing a similar reminder. I recall one of the very first emergency room consults I had as an intern and excitedly calling her about the patient presentation. I specifically told her the wound is very pungent and malodorous. She quickly replied, with over 30 years of wound care experience, "Alton, did you wash the wound?" and that was when it hit me. I told her, "No, I did not wash the wound." She responded, "Well, call me back when you wash it; then we can better assess if it's truly infection or not." It was at this very moment I learned the very first step of wound care. This step is known as "Please Wash Your Wound!" and it is equally important for both health care providers and patients to understand the basic steps for cleaning a wound.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

By the WoundSource Editors

Antimicrobial dressings: Dressings that contain substances with antimicrobial properties, such as silver, chlorhexidine, honey, or iodine. These dressings can be effective in reducing bioburden and promoting healing.

Antimicrobial stewardship: Collective measures that are taken to slow the evolution of multidrug-resistant organisms.

Bacterial resistance: The capacity of bacteria to withstand the effects of antibiotics that are meant to kill them; this term is commonly used interchangeably with antibiotic resistance.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture
Preventing Surgical Site Infections

By the WoundSource Editors

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define a surgical site infection (SSI) as "an infection that occurs after surgery in the part of the body where the surgery took place." The CDC go on to say the infection can be superficial involving just the skin or more serious infections can occur that involve deeper structures, such as tissue under the skin, organs, or implanted devices or materials. The CDC offer tools and guidelines to prevent SSIs and provide education to the public. Public education includes tips and advice on how to prevent patient surgical sites from becoming infected. Although such steps may not always prevent a surgical wound from becoming infected, it is always important to involve the patient in postoperative care.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture
Surgical Wound Infection Assessment

By the WoundSource Editors

With an associated cost of $3.5 billion to $10 billion spent annually on surgical site infections (SSIs) and complications in the United States, it is important to know how to assess for surgical wound complications. There is a difference between the normal cascade response and a brewing infection. Symptoms of infection are often the first clue that there is more occurring in the wound than meets the eye.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture
Biofilm

By the WoundSource Editors

Biofilm: this term is frequently used in the wound care space, but biofilm continues to be largely undertreated in wound care. What do the bedside nurse or clinician need to know about biofilm? Should clinicians care less about biofilm on a maintenance or palliative wound versus a wound they are actively trying to heal? Let's address these questions and get to the root of the biofilm in managing complex wound cases.

Gregory Schultz's picture
Biofilm Frequently Asked Questions

By Gregory Schultz, PhD

In my recent WoundSource webinar on the assessment and treatment of chronic wounds and biofilms, I discussed the pathogenesis of chronic wounds and offered a biofilm-based wound care protocol to promote healing.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture
biofilm development stages

by the WoundSource Editors

Advancements in molecular microbiology, microscopy technology, and techniques for study of bacteria have increased the ability to identify the existence of biofilms, but there still remains the unknown, such as differentiating between planktonic bacteria and biofilm.1 Chronic non-healing wounds harbor bacteria across the wound etiology classification.2–4 Malone et al. determined that the prevalence of biofilms in chronic wounds was 78.2% (confidence interval, 61.6–89, P < 0.002).2 The development of biofilms moves through a common pattern: attachment, microcolony formation, maturation, and dispersion. The initial attachment is reversible, but the attachment becomes stronger as cells multiply and change their gene expressions. This cell communication process is referred to as quorum sensing, allowing cells to survive.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture
wound biofilm virulence

By the WoundSource Editors

Wound biofilms not only impede healing but also increase the risk of infection. It is essential that wound biofilms be addressed and treated in a prompt, consistent manner. Biofilms have been an ongoing challenge because of the majority of resistant bacteria. Research in antibiofilm technology continues to grow, and it is essential to keep up on the most recent evidenced-based practice literature for improving patients’ outcomes.

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wound infection

by the WoundSource Editors

Wound infection is a complex process that can be affected by a variety of factors, some of which inhibit the ability to heal. The first stage of healing, the inflammatory stage, is particularly susceptible to chronicity. Chronicity can be influenced by many factors, with a common contributor being the presence of infection. The wound infection continuum begins with contamination and, if left unchecked, will progress to systematic infection.