Infected Wounds

Cathy Wogamon's picture
Pilonidal Cyst

By Cathy Wogamon, DNP, MSN, FNP-BC, CWON, CFCN

A pilonidal cyst is a pocket located at the top of the cleft of the buttocks that usually results from an embedded or stiff hair. This area may remain dormant for years and cause no major issues; however, often the embedded or stiff hair may cause the cyst to become inflamed and infected, resulting in an abscess that requires an incision to drain the infected material. These abscesses can recur, causing the patient to require surgical intervention to remove the cyst. After surgery, some patients tend not to heal well, and the result is a chronic, tracking wound in an area that is difficult to heal.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

Prevention and management of biofilm and infection in wounds can be supported by using antimicrobial and antibiofilm dressings. Internationally, there has been a rising prevalence of antibiotic-resistant organisms; this has resulted in increased incorporation of antimicrobial dressings in wound management. These dressings offer many advantages because they are easy to use, are readily available, have a decreased risk of resistance, and deliver sustained release of antimicrobial agents to the wound bed. This mode of action allows for a lower concentration of the agent and thereby lowers the possibility of toxicity to host cells.

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Bioburden: Bioburden is the number of microorganisms in a wound, and a high bioburden can cause delayed wound healing.

Biofilm: Biofilms are usually composed of mixed strains of bacteria, fungi, yeasts, algae, microbes, and other cellular debris that adhere to the wound surface.

Epibole: Epibole refers to rolled or curled-under closed wound edges. These rolled edges are thickened epidermis that may be callused, dry, scaly, and/or hyperkeratotic. When epibole is present in a wound, it signals to the body that the wound has healed, even though the wound remains open. Epibole must be resolved to allow the wound to close.

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Delayed wound healing occurs in various wound types and in patients with significant comorbidities. Hard-to-heal wounds have proven to be a challenging and worldwide crisis resulting in high financial burdens.

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Biofilms are found in the majority of chronic wounds and pose a critical health threat, causing nearly 80% of refractory nosocomial infections. They also have a damaging virulence mechanism, which induces resistance to antimicrobials and evasion from the host’s immune system. Over 90% of chronic wounds contain bacteria and fungi living within a biofilm construct. Biofilms have been reported as major contributing factors to a multitude of chronic inflammatory diseases. Given the resistance of the bacteria, biofilms increase the risk of infection and cost the health care system millions of dollars annually. Clinicians should have practical knowledge of the role and impact that biofilms play in impeding chronic wounds, thus leading to risks of complications such as infection.

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Wound debridement is a critical strategy in treating hard-to-heal wounds. It is a process that expedites healing by removing necrotic tissue, non-viable tissue, and foreign material. It can also be used to manage biofilm to prevent infection. Debriding a wound exposes the healthy underlying tissue to promote healing. There are several methods of debridement. Determining the best option will depend on the health care setting as well as the characteristics of the wound being treated.

Luis Fernandez's picture

By Luis Fernandez, M.D., KHS, KCOEG, FACS, FASAS, FCCP, FCCM, FICS

Complex wounds have plagued humankind for thousands of years, and the search for methods to combat infectious agents has been met with limited success. Although silver, iodine, and honey still hold a place in a long list of treatments employed today, in general, these and other antimicrobials have at least one thing in common: unlike pure hypochlorous acid (HOCL), none of them are native to humans (iodine is not present in humans in an antimicrobial role).

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Surgical Site Management

Surgical site management in the post-operative time frame is paramount in preventing infection and wound dehiscence. It is essential to use practical knowledge in good wound cleansing and skin care and in providing moisture balance in surgical site wound care management.

Cheryl Carver's picture

By Cheryl Carver, LPN, WCC, CWCA, DAPWCA, FACCWS

I am into my 20th year working as a wound care specialist. I must admit, I never thought much about wound management in the prison population until my son's wound care experiences during his incarcerations. I am quite transparent with this blog, and after you finish reading it, I hope you will have a different perspective on wound care in prison populations. I want to point out that this was my son's experience, which he encouraged me to share to help others. This blog is my view and does not define correctional nurses or wound care management in all prisons. I have the utmost respect for correctional nurses because I know that I could not do it. Through my son's experience, I identified various gaps in education and factors affecting quality of wound care that led to my interest in researching this area of wound care.

WoundSource Editors's picture
Antifungal Cream

By the WoundSource Editors

Antifungal cream is a broad term used to describe a range of products containing antifungal agents that are topically applied to the skin to control and manage fungal infections. These products may be formulated with a moisture barrier to protect and condition the skin. Antifungal creams are used both as a palliative treatment for existing fungal infections and as a prophylactic measure in cases where there is a risk of fungal infection.