Wound Wise: Uncover the clues to wound infection

Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!
October 2006 
Volume 4  Number 5
Pages 10 - 12
  PDF Version Available!



Professor of Nursing, University of Iowa College of Nursing, Iowa City, Iowa

DETERMINING WHETHER a chronic wound is infected is pretty tricky. Take the wound shown in the two photos below. Do you think it's infected? Don't answer yet; read this article first for tips that can help you figure it out.

Subtle clues ahead

Acute wounds exhibit classic signs and symptoms of infection: increasing pain, erythema, edema, heat, and purulent exudate at the wound site. But in chronic wounds—pressure, venous, and diabetic ulcers—the signs and symptoms of infection are more elusive; you have to look for subtler indicators. To make it even more complicated, advanced age, diabetes, altered tissue perfusion and oxygenation, immunocompromise, and use of anti-inflammatory drugs may modify the usual signs.

Figure. No caption available.

So, what exactly are you looking for? Investigators at the University of Iowa have ...

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