Identification, diagnosis and treatment of wound infection
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Identification, diagnosis and treatment of wound infection

Jane Cadogan Tissue viability nurse specialist, Swindon Primary Care Trust
Dawn Baldwin Tissue viability nurse specialist, Great Western Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Swindon
Stephanie Carpenter Tissue viability nurse specialist, Great Western Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Swindon
Jill Davey Tissue viability nurse specialist, Great Western Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Swindon
Helen Harris Tissue viability nurse specialist, Sirona Care and Health, Bath
Kate Purser Tissue viability nurse specialist, Royal United Hospital, Bath
Gill Wicks Tissue viability nurse consultant, Great Western Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Community Services, Swindon

The early identification of the subtle signs of increased bioburden in a wound enables timely and appropriate treatment and therefore improved patient outcomes. The rising costs of antimicrobial dressings and the growth in antibiotic-resistant organisms increase the need for correct diagnosis. Indiscriminate use of antibiotics is a significant contributory factor in bacterial resistance. This article describes a new tool devised by a professional working group of tissue viability nurse specialists which is designed to help healthcare professionals to identify and manage bacterial burden in wounds. It is hoped that this will assist prompt diagnosis and help to reduce patient morbidity with appropriate and timely interventions.

Nursing Standard. 26, 11,44-48. doi: 10.7748/ns2011.11.26.11.44.c8821

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review