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bacterial load, lower extremity, negative-pressure wound therapy, open wounds, silver, wound dressing



  1. Hahn, Hyung Min MD
  2. Lee, Il Jae PhD, MD
  3. Woo, Kyong-je PhD, MD
  4. Park, Bo Young PhD, MD


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the antibacterial efficacy of silver-impregnated negative-pressure wound therapy (NPWT) in lower-extremity acute traumatic wounds.


METHODS: Open contaminated wounds caused by high-velocity trauma in the lower extremities were randomly allocated into two groups. The wounds in the control and experimental groups were treated with conventional NPWT (n = 31) and silver-impregnated NPWT (n = 35), respectively.


MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Serial bacterial cultures were obtained from the participants' wounds, polyurethane foam, and suction tubes weekly during the 4-week follow-up to identify bacteria and follow their conversions.


MAIN RESULTS: Bacterial colonization rates in the silver NPWT group were generally lower than those in the conventional NPWT group, and the difference increased with time. For methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus colonization, wounds treated with silver-impregnated NPWT showed a significant reduction in bacterial load compared with those treated with conventional NPWT.


CONCLUSIONS: Silver-impregnated NPWT effectively decreases bacterial load in open contaminated wounds of the lower extremities. It can be used as a temporizing measure to manage bacterial colonization while patients and wounds are being prepared for final wound reconstruction.