Terms to Know: Wound Bed Preparation

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by the WoundSource Editors

Bioburden: In wound care, this refers to the number of microorganisms that contaminate the wound bed.

Biofilm: This is made up of complex microbial communities containing bacteria and fungi. The microorganisms synthesize and secrete a protective matrix that attaches the biofilm firmly to a living or non-living surface.

Colonized: When wounds are not managed well, such as with ineffective wound bed preparation, the bacteria will begin to replicate. If there is an increase in the number of bacteria, depending on the virulence of those bacteria, this process can begin to overwhelm the host.

Contaminated: The presence of non-replicating bacteria. The host controls the environment, and healing is not impaired by these bacteria.

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Debridement: The removal of necrotic non-viable tissue from a wound to optimize the wound healing environment. It is accomplished by one of the following methods: sharp surgical debridement, conservative sharp debridement, mechanical debridement, enzymatic debridement, biological debridement, or autolytic debridement.

Desiccated: The wound bed has dried out, and this dehydrated state can cause rapid cell death and impediment of wound healing.

Epibole: A condition occurring when the wound edges roll or curl under and become closed or non-advancing and may be dry, calloused, or hyperkeratotic.

Microenvironment: In wound care, it is the interface between the wound bed and the dressing.

Senescent: Cells that are “asleep” or have lost the ability to divide when stressed.

Surfactant: A substance in wound cleansers that breaks the surface tension between wound debris and the wound bed.

TIME: An acronym used to describe the concept of wound bed preparation and management that assists clinicians with systematically assessing and managing wound care. It consists of tissue (debridement), infection or inflammation, moisture balance, and edge (promote closure).

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