Biofilm and Infected Wounds

Samantha Kuplicki's picture


Identifying the presence of Surgical Site Infections (SSIs) is an important, basic skill for the wound specialist, and even more essential is understanding how to apply evidence-based, risk-reducing interventions. SSIs are particularly problematic because of the multiple factors contributing to their development, including those that are directly patient-related (modifiable or non-modifiable), and non-patient related (facility, procedure, pre-op, intra-op, and post-op). Due to the multifaceted nature of SSIs, we must address specific issues simultaneously in order to successfully reduce the patient’s risk

Jeffrey M. Levine's picture

By Jeffrey M. Levine MD, AGSF, CWS-P

You are looking at an amazing image of a dime-sized biofilm of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, grown and photographed by Scott Chimileski – a biologist, photographer, and writer at the Kolter Lab at Harvard Medical School.

Samantha Kuplicki's picture
surgical site infection prevention

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

Surgical site infections (SSIs) are the most common hospital-acquired infections, accounting for 20% of total documented infections each year and costing approximately $34,000 per episode. SSIs are responsible for increased readmission rates, length of stay, reoperation, patient morbidity and mortality, as well as increased overall health care costs.

Janet Wolfson's picture
wound infection treatment using alternative modalities

By Janet Wolfson, PT, CLWT, CWS, CLT-LANA

As I was commuting in to work a few Saturdays ago, I listened to The People’s Pharmacy on NPR. The topic was non-pharmacological treatment of infection, so being a wound care professional, I immediately started thinking of the ways I treat wound infections. In addition to oral, topical or IV antibiotics, as a PT there are modalities available to me to treat wound infections. The advantage of using these modalities is that treatments are effective across a broad spectrum of bacteria without the risk of resistance. Really! These treatments include ultrasound, electrical stimulation and laser or light-emitting diode (LED) therapy.

Michel Hermans's picture
Health Care Profits

By Michel H.E. Hermans, MD

Your mortgage company will not be able to hike your interest rate by 500% before the maturity date. If they tried, you could sue them for breach of contract and simply go somewhere else. If Mercedes, Hyundai or Ford hiked their prices by 5000%, you would simply visit a different dealership. You have choices and are responsible for these choices.

Lydia Corum's picture
Bacteria culture

By Lydia A. Meyers RN, MSN, CWCN

Wound infections are discussed in the media and are a major reason for admission into the hospital. With the importance in health care today to decrease costs, I was encouraged to do research into where infections come from and the causes for hospitalization and death among wound patients. In the current data I found there is information showing how the government has increased surveillance related to reportable admission to hospital in relation to infections in wounds by home health and hospice organizations.

Bruce Ruben's picture

By Bruce E. Ruben MD

According to the American Hospital Association, over 36 million patients are admitted to hospitals every year. Presumably, these patients go to hospitals to get well, but one in 20 end up getting something else: an infection. Worse, one in nine of those infections result in death.

Michel Hermans's picture

By Michel H.E. Hermans, MD

A recent article in Mayo Clinic's Proceedings studies contamination of stethoscopes. After a standardized physical examination, several parts of the physicians' hand were cultured and the results were compared to cultures of the stethoscope diaphragm and tube. As it turned out, fingertip contamination was highest but the diaphragm of the stethoscope showed a higher level than the thenar eminence of the physician's hand. The conclusion of the article stated that the stethoscope may play a serious role in cross contaminating patients.

Bruce Ruben's picture

By Bruce E. Ruben MD

Part 1 in a series on infection management

What is an Infection?

The world of bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites has a long and storied place in the human condition. Way more often than not, bacteria live normally on our skin and line our entire gastrointestinal tract from mouth to anus.

Laurie Swezey's picture

By Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

Although the standard treatment for infected wounds continues to include antimicrobial therapy, other therapies are gaining in popularity due to the rise in antibiotic resistance. This month's blog will explore some of these alternative therapies.