Wound Infection

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Wound Culture

By the WoundSource Editors

All wounds are complex non-sterile environments, often requiring a succession of intersecting phases of wound healing to repair completely. When epithelial tissue is compromised by a wound, contamination by common skin surface microbes may result in infection or the formation of a biofilm that impedes healing. Although systemic antibiotics are necessary for treating clinically infected wounds, the use of antibiotics and antiseptics in non-healing, non-infected wounds is debated.

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Antimicrobial Stewardship

By The WoundSource Editors

Antimicrobial stewardship is becoming an increasing concern for nearly all clinical professionals. Antimicrobial resistance is often considered one of the most serious health threats of the 21st century. It is estimated that currently approximately 700,000 people die each year of drug-resistant infections, and experts predict that this figure could increase to 10 million deaths each year by 2050. On a global scale, antimicrobial resistance compromises the ability of clinicians to treat infectious diseases and thereby undermines many of the recent advances in modern medicine.

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Wound Infection

By the WoundSource Editors

With multiple risk factors impeding wound healing and wounds often diagnosed with mixed etiology, wound healing can be complicated. Understanding the pathophysiology of wound healing can help clinicians to better comprehend the needs of a wound to help it progress through the stages of wound healing.

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Preventing Surgical Site Infections

By the WoundSource Editors

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define a surgical site infection (SSI) as "an infection that occurs after surgery in the part of the body where the surgery took place." The CDC go on to say the infection can be superficial involving just the skin or more serious infections can occur that involve deeper structures, such as tissue under the skin, organs, or implanted devices or materials. The CDC offer tools and guidelines to prevent SSIs and provide education to the public. Public education includes tips and advice on how to prevent patient surgical sites from becoming infected. Although such steps may not always prevent a surgical wound from becoming infected, it is always important to involve the patient in postoperative care.

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Surgical Wound Infection Assessment

By the WoundSource Editors

With an associated cost of $3.5 billion to $10 billion spent annually on surgical site infections (SSIs) and complications in the United States, it is important to know how to assess for surgical wound complications. There is a difference between the normal cascade response and a brewing infection. Symptoms of infection are often the first clue that there is more occurring in the wound than meets the eye.

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Skin and Wound Management with Substance Abuse

By Cheryl Carver, LPN, WCC, CWCA, CWCP, DAPWCA, FACCWS, CLTC – Wound Educator

The challenges for all clinicians associated with substance abuse and addiction are at an all-time high. We are seeing more and more overdoses and skin and wound issues. There needs to be less judgment and more education. Not every person with substance abuse issues is addicted due to a poor choice. Reasons for abuse can be related to unmanaged mental illness, self-medication and family genetics, to name a few. Compassion is lacking for this group of folks. I have seen it firsthand. This topic hits close to home as I have a son in recovery. This problem is an epidemic and needs to be talked about more. I live in Ohio, and we are one of the top five states for heroin and methamphetamine (meth) abuse.

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wound infection

by the WoundSource Editors

Wound infection is a complex process that can be affected by a variety of factors, some of which inhibit the ability to heal. The first stage of healing, the inflammatory stage, is particularly susceptible to chronicity. Chronicity can be influenced by many factors, with a common contributor being the presence of infection. The wound infection continuum begins with contamination and, if left unchecked, will progress to systematic infection.

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Preventing Cross-Infection

by Hy-Tape International

Infections are common and serious complications associated with post-surgical wounds. In wounds resulting from clean surgery, 8% become infected among the general population and 25% among those over 60 years of age. Preventing these infections can help reduce costs, improve patient outcomes, and save lives. It is critical that health care professionals understand the risk of cross-contamination and take steps to prevent it.

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Necrotic Foot

by the Wound Source Editors

Chronic non-healing wounds affect millions of patients each year and contribute significantly to their morbidity and mortality. These wounds have a substantial impact because of their economic burden and the significant effect on the reduction in quality of life, as well as the increased risk of death for those patients affected by them.1 A 2014 study of Medicare data showed that chronic non-healing wounds and associated complications affect nearly 15% or 8.2 million Medicare beneficiaries. The study also estimated the cost to treat these wounds at between $28.1 billion and $31.7 billion annually.2 The highest costs were associated with infected or reopened surgical wounds, and outpatient care had the highest site-of-service costs. In addition to being older, most of these patients have obesity and diabetes. Underlying causes often include diabetic foot ulcers, venous leg ulcers, arterial insufficiency, and pressure ulcers. The list of complications contributing not only to chronicity but also to further deterioration is quite lengthy.

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Reduction in Antibiotics Image

by Martha Kelso, RN, HBOT

Editor's note:This blog post is part of the WoundSource Trending Topics series, bringing you insight into the latest clinical issues and advancement in wound management, with contributions by the WoundSource Editorial Advisory Board.