The role of non-medicated dressings for the management of wound infection


Every wound type has the potential to develop serious infection, which in some cases can
lead to chronicity, bone infections, long-term disabilities or even death. Bacteria within
a wound will exist in either planktonic or biofilm forms, with treatment mostly by use of
topical antimicrobials or antibiotics. Alarmingly, there is growing concern regarding the
treatment of infection, caused by the rise of antimicrobial resistance in many common
bacterial pathogens and the misuse of antimicrobial agents.

Antimicrobial stewardship aims to promote the appropriate use of antibiotics and antimicrobial agents. Since the introduction of antimicrobial stewardship principles, the overall number of prescriptions for antibiotics (between 2013 and 2017) fell by 4.5%[1]. Nevertheless, new perspectives are needed to help tackle the ongoing and very real threat of antimicrobial resistance in wounds.

Paper 1

‘Biofilm and infection recognition and management in the context of antimicrobial
stewardship’ sets the scene on the key aspects of biofilm physiology and structure, along withthe challenges and current treatment approaches to identifying and treating biofilm in wounds. A new approach offers clinicians the opportunity to reduce the overuse of antimicrobial agents inwound care and outlines the importance of antimicrobial stewardship.

Paper 2

‘Non-medicated wound dressings: Defining their role’ focuses on the mechanism of action of so-called non-medicated wound dressings (NMWDs) in the management of bacterial bioburden in both acute and chronic wounds, by proposing a clear definition, indications for their use and evidence that supports their effectiveness.

Paper 3

‘Non-medicated wound dressings in infected wounds or wounds at risk of infection: How to use in practice’ covers the use of NMWDs in practice, including when to consider NMWDs, rationale for use and shared clinical experience through specific case examples.

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