Infection Management

Dianne Rudolph's picture

Moisture-associated skin damage (MASD) is a common problem for wound clinicians. It connotes a spectrum of skin damage caused by inflammation and erosion (or denudation) of the epidermis resulting from prolonged exposure to various sources of moisture and potential irritants. These can include urine, stool, perspiration, wound exudates, or ostomy effluent. MASD includes several different categories: incontinence-associated dermatitis (AID), intertriginous dermatitis, periwound skin damage, and peristomal MASD. Of these categories, IAD is one of the more challenging issues for clinicians to recognize and treat. It is not uncommon for IAD to be inaccurately assessed as a stage 2 pressure injury. For the purposes of this blog, the focus is on differentiating between IAD and pressure injuries. Treatment strategies are also addressed.

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.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

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.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

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.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

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.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

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.

Margaret Heale's picture

By Margaret Heale, RN, MSc, CWOCN

I had shopped before lockdown and had not needed to go to a supermarket for a while. Before my first big shopping event, I came across this online video: preventing your kitchen getting contaminated from your shopping. I smiled at the thought of people trying to use an aseptic technique in their kitchen while trying hard not to contaminate the kitchen, its contents, or themselves with imagined glitter (or coronavirus).

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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).

Cathy Wogamon's picture
Hand Washing During COVID-19

By Cathy Wogamon, DPN, MSN, FNP-BC, CWON

From the first announcement to the current screening, closings, and practice modifications, the novel coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, which is the cause of coronavirus disease 2019 [COVID-19]) has increasingly created panic among the general public. For those of us in the health care profession, it has been an ongoing battle to keep up with the changing guidelines while helping the public and patients understand the virus, how it is spread, and why appointments are being rescheduled or modified in some fashion. Although the practices listed here are "preaching to the choir," it's always a good idea to review the basics.