Introduction: Wound bed preparation removes barriers to the healing process, helping healing to continue. Soft debridement is one method of cleaning a wound whilst minimizing patient discomfort. However, this requires high levels of contact with the wound bed, increasing the potential for cross contamination. This test aimed to assess the potential for cross contamination in wound bed preparation when using different products.
Methods: Petri-dishes were filled with simulated wound fluid/debris to simulate a wound requiring debridement. Gauze and a Preparation Mitt were moistened with water and used to cleanse a simulated wound. Following use, photographs were taken of the products and the user’s hand. The user then placed their hand on a white surface which was photographed to assess for any fluid transfer from the simulated wound. Test one prompted an assessment of the bacterial implications of fluid transfer. The products were used to cleanse lawns of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa (n=3). Following cleansing, the user placed their gloved hand onto a clean agar plate which was incubated overnight. The plates were then assessed for bacterial transfer.
Results and Discussion: Following use of the preparation mitt, the user demonstrated no visible transfer of fluid onto the test surface. Gauze demonstrated a higher level of transfer to the test surface due to increased amounts of fluid on the glove. This result was replicated in the bacterial testing, with dense bacterial proliferation seen following the use of gauze. Significantly less bacteria was transferred following use of the mitt. This result has been attributed to the protective nature of the mitt, compared to the method of holding gauze pads.
Conclusion: The use of a debridement mitt demonstrated a lower potential for cross contamination following wound bed preparation compared to that of using gauze.