Biofilm and Infected Wounds

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

by the WoundSource Editors

Acute wound: Alteration in skin integrity such as a simple laceration or a surgical wound that moves normally through the healing process and heals in a predictable timeframe without complication.

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Surgical Site Infections

by the WoundSource Editors

Of the millions of surgical procedures performed annually, most surgical site wounds heal without complications. Surgical site infections (SSIs) are common complications that may occur after surgery, and that may delay healing, therefore increasing the cost of care.1

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Multidrug-Resistant Organisms

by the WoundSource Editors

Among the greatest triumphs of modern medicine were the identification and naming of the Penicillium mold by Alexander Fleming in 1928, and its ability to inhibit bacteria growth on culture medium. Penicillin was then developed by the team of Heatley, Chain, and Florey in England during the Second World War.1 This miracle brought about the ability to cure previously untreatable diseases and devastating infections that had high morbidity and mortality rates. Along with the great efficacy of penicillin was the added benefit of very few side effects. This area of research brought about the era of antibiotic production, which began in the 1950s.

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Clinical Challenges in Diagnosing Infected Wounds

by the WoundSource Editors

Given the impact of infection on delayed wound healing, determining the presence of colonization and infection is imperative to achieving healed outcomes.Chronic wounds are always contaminated, and timely implementation of management and treatment interventions is a key component of the plan of care.

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Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine Journal Review Club
Editor's note: This post is part of the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine (TUSPM) journal review club blog series. In each blog post, a TUSPM student will review a journal article relevant to wound management and related topics and provide their evaluation of the clinical research therein.

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biofilm culture under microscope

by the WoundSource Editors

Have you ever had plaque buildup on your teeth, seen a thin clear film on the top of your pet's water bowl, or stepped into a locker room shower where the floor felt slick and slimy? If so, then did you realize these were all forms of biofilm? Biofilm is a complex microbial community containing self- and surface-attached microorganisms that are embedded in an extracellular polymeric substance, or EPS.1,2 The EPS is the slimy substance in the previous examples and is primarily a polysaccharide protective matrix synthesized and secreted by the microorganisms that attaches the biofilm firmly to a living or non-living surface. This film protects the organisms from destruction first by being tenacious and keeping the microbial community strongly attached to a surface.

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antibiotic resistant biofilm

by the WoundSource Editors

Identifying and managing biofilms have become two of the most important aspects of wound care. Biofilms can have a significant impact on wound healing, by contributing to bacterial infection, inflammation, and delayed wound healing.1 These issues make reducing biofilm presence a critical component of effective wound care. Although over 60% of chronic wounds contain a biofilm, many health care professionals are not able to identify biofilm formation in their patients.2 To manage this challenge effectively, health care professionals must understand what biofilms are, how to identify them, and how to take steps to reduce their impact on wound healing.

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necrotic tissue in wound

by the WoundSource Editors

Biofilm is a complex microbial community containing self- and surface-attached microorganisms that are embedded in an extracellular polymeric substance.1,2 The extracellular polymeric substance is a primarily polysaccharide protective matrix synthesized and secreted by the microorganisms that attaches the biofilm firmly to a living or non-living surface. This protective covering does not allow the body's immune system to recognize the presence of the microorganism; therefore, the bacteria evade an immune response, avoid detection by standard diagnostic techniques, and avoid destruction by standard treatments.3 Because of the tenacity of the attached biofilm, the microoganisms are able to resist physical forces, such shear, and are able to withstand nutrient and moisture deprivation, altered pH, and the impact of antibiotics and antiseptics. For the purposes of this discussion we break down the formation and actions of biofilms and discuss their impact on wound healing.

Samantha Kuplicki's picture
surgical site infection prevention

By Samantha Kuplicki MSN, APRN-CNS, AGCNS-BC, CWS, CWCN, CFCN

Great news! Data suggest that surgical site infection (SSI) incidence could be halved with implementation of evidence-based interventions. So, why are interventions not ubiquitously utilized across health care institutions and SSIs not nearly eradicated?