Infected Wounds

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.

WoundSource Editors's picture
signs of wound infection

A break in the skin through injury or surgery creates an open entry for bacteria to enter the body and begin to multiply. Recognizing the first signs of wound infection enables health care professionals to intervene with treatment swiftly. Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms associated with a 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. Here are 10 of the most common factors affecting wound healing in chronic wounds:

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 activated 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. Wound odor can impact the quality of life of individuals with strong, persistent wound odor to have feelings of embarrassment, depression and isolation.1

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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.

Cheryl Carver's picture
Lab culture

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

I see it all of the time. Wound care clinicians performing wound cultures incorrectly, or obtaining cultures just because there is an open wound. With this being said, there are certain health care settings where per protocol, swab cultures are taken on every wound, even without signs and symptoms of infection. But I want you to always ask yourself a few questions when determining if a culture is warranted: Are there signs and symptoms of infection? Is there an odor after the wound has been cleansed? Has wound healing stalled? Maybe there is a biofilm present?

Bruce Ruben's picture
writing online review

By Robert Striks, Special Writer, Encompass HealthCare & Wound Medicine

I know, I know. You can get more bees with honey than vinegar. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it. If you want to be happy, give up your need to be right.

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Bruce Ruben's picture
hand wound

By Bruce E. Ruben MD

A non-healing wound is generally defined as a wound that will not heal within four weeks. If a wound does not heal within this usual time period, the cause is usually found in underlying conditions that have either gone unnoticed or untreated. In general, there are five reasons why wounds will not heal and more than one of these conditions can be operating at the same time.

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