Infected Wounds

Aletha Tippett MD's picture
Tetanus Immunization

by Aletha Tippett MD

Tetanus is a multisystem disease that occurs worldwide and is caused by the bacterium Clostridium tetani. This bacterium is present in feces and soil. Tetanus has been mostly eradicated in the United States because of childhood immunization; however, there have been reported cases among immigrants, as well as young adults who partake in higher-risk behaviors such as body piercing and tattooing and those who fail to maintain adult booster immunization. Other risk factors include diabetes or chronic wounds. It is fatal in approximately 10% to 30% of cases. Tetanus can be localized (with muscle contractions in the part of the body where the infection began) or generalized (affecting the entire body). Most reported tetanus cases are generalized.

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WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture
Periwound skin

by The WoundSource Editors

The periwound is as important as the wound. As clinicians, we should carefully assess the wound bed, but we need to remember also to assess the periwound and surrounding skin. The periwound should be considered the 4cm of surrounding skin extending from the wound bed. Chronic wounds may manifest any of the following characteristics, depending on wound type: erythema, induration, epibole, ecchymosis, hyperkeratosis, and changes in shape.

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Samantha Kuplicki's picture
preventing-surgical-site-infections

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

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.

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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. He captured the eerie, otherworldly look of this dangerous organism. The bacterial colony appears red because of the stain that Scott used to demonstrate its chemical structure. This photo is one of the winners of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) 2016 BioArt contest. Part of Scott’s research is on the fundamental processes of biofilm formation, one of the major frontiers in wound healing science today.

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Samantha Kuplicki's picture
surgical site infection prevention

by Samantha Kuplicki, MSN, APRN-CNS, ACNS-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.

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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.

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WoundSource Editors's picture
signs of wound infection

by the WoundSource Editors

A break in the skin through injury or surgery allows bacteria to enter the body and begin to multiply. Recognizing the first signs of wound infection enables health care professionals to swiftly intervene with treatment. Here are some of the primary signs of wound infection:

WoundSource Editors's picture
factors affecting healing in chronic wounds

by the WoundSource Editors

Whether due to injury or surgery, wound healing normally progresses steadily through an orderly set of stages. Wounds that don't heal within 30 days are considered chronic. Wounds that become chronic generally stall in one or more of the phases of wound healing.

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Laurie Swezey's picture
aerobic proteus bacteria in a wound

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

Activated charcoal has been used in various types of wound care dressings. Although charcoal in itself does not enhance wound healing, it can help to minimize the odors associated with wounds. This is important, as wound odor can be very distressing for the patient, and the patient's family and caregivers.

Laurie Swezey's picture
identifying infected wounds

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

As health care providers, we are all familiar with the signs of wound inflammation. However, it can sometimes be difficult to determine whether a wound is inflamed, undergoing the normal and expected inflammatory response to tissue injury, or infected. In this article we’ll review the definition of infection and assessment of the potentially infected wound.