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  1. Barrows, Christina MSN, RN, CWCN


According to the Tabor's Medical Dictionary (2005), bioburden is the number of contaminating microorganisms present on an object, such as a wound. Bioburden is a serious concern for wound care clinicians as it has been well-documented that bioburden may delay wound healing, increase pain and result in increased cost of treatment. Symptoms of bioburden include a delay in wound healing, increase in exudate and odor, a red bright wound bed with exuberant granulation tissue that bleeds readily (Sibbald et al., 2006), and persistence or development of necrotic tissue. Silver dressings are increasingly used in wound care to reduce bioburden. Silver provides potent broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity. When placed in contact with organic molecules, such as wound fluid or tissue that contain proteins or a broad spectrum of microorganisms, silver ions react with the microorganisms (Bolton, 2006).