Infection Management

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

Wound bed preparation is the systematic approach clinicians use to identify and remove barriers to the healing process of the wound. The approach aims to create an optimal wound healing environment by focusing on all critical components, including debridement, bacterial balance, and exudate management, as well as taking into account the patient's overall health status and how this may impinge on the wound healing process.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

Wound bed preparation is a vital element of wound care. It ensures that the wound has the best environment for closure by addressing the needs of the wound and removing barriers. Wound bed preparation is usually achieved by following a systematic approach such as the TIMERS mnemonic, which consists of tissue, infection/inflammation, moisture management, edge of wound/epibole, repair/regeneration, and social factors. These steps do not necessarily need to occur in order, and some or all of them may need to be repeated as the wound changes and progresses toward closure.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

Wound bed preparation is the concept that provides clinicians with a framework for treating hard-to-heal wounds by assessing the patient as a whole and not focusing only on the characteristics of the wound. Moisture management is essential for a wound to heal correctly, so clinicians must regularly assess the wound because excess moisture or exudate can be an indicator of ongoing inflammation or other complicating factors.

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Wound bed preparation is vital to treating biofilm. Resistant to antibiotic treatment, biofilm not only stalls the healing process of chronic wounds but also puts patients at greater risk for amputation. Clinicians should follow the process of successful wound healing described in the TIMERS framework (Tissue, Inflammation/infection, Moisture imbalance, Epithelial edge advancement, Repair/regeneration, and Social factors) to guide wound care. Proper wound bed preparation recognizes that biofilm prevention and treatment in chronic wounds incorporate aggressive wound debridement to suppress biofilm regrowth, disrupt the bacterial burden, and promote a healthy wound bed environment

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The incorporation of silver into wound dressings has been a breakthrough to combat the effects of antibiotic resistance, despite silver safety concerns. Regardless of its recent popularity, silver is not a new tool in health care.

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As a cost-effective alternative to topical antibiotics, silver is now widely available in wound dressings. However, what does silver really do within the wound bed? Silver uses a multifaceted approach to combating infection that attacks bacteria internally.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

Silver has become one of the most commonly used alternatives to topical antibiotics in recent years because of the growing concern over antibiotic resistance. Silver offers a multifaceted antimicrobial approach that makes it less likely for resistance to develop. With its limited and uncommon cytotoxicity, silver can be used to treat infected wounds over time and prevent further complications.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

Before the discovery of penicillin in 1928, silver was the primary antimicrobial agent available. Now, as antibiotic resistance plagues the health care field, silver has new value for wound care. Additionally, silver has demonstrated limited cytotoxicity when used topically, thus making it a suitable alternative to antibiotics.

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Wounds typically heal in four sequential but overlapping phases — hemostasis, inflammatory, proliferative and remodeling — ultimately leading to tissue regeneration. Healing sometimes stalls for various reasons, a key one being extensive inflammation, which disrupts the normal cascade of healing and leads to chronic and hard-to-heal wounds. A vicious cycle of ongoing inflammation, pain and poor quality of life often follows. Understanding how to break this cycle is essential for wound care clinicians who want to optimize healing outcomes and patient quality of life.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

Wound healing can stall for a number of reasons. Wounds that have not healed or significantly reduced in size after four to six weeks are considered chronic. They are characterized by a multitude of impeding factors including biofilm, excess matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and extracellular matrix degradation, inflammation, fibrosis, unresponsive keratinocytes and fibroblasts, and atypical growth factor signaling.