What is a Infected Wound?
Infection can develop in any type of wound and is usually accompanied by pain, inflammation, oedema, odour, swelling or increased exudate. Left untreated the infection can spread, becoming a more severe systemic infection requiring medical intervention
The most severe local complication of an infected wound is stalled wound healing, resulting in a non-healing wound. This often results in significant pain and discomfort and is detrimental to the psychological wellbeing of the patient. More serious systemic complications can include cellulitis, osteomyelitis or septicemia.
Localised infections in a wound can often be treated with topical antibiotics. Debridement may also be necessary to remove any slough and devitalised tissue, which can slow wound healing and can affect the efficacy of topical antibiotics. Antimicrobial dressings can also be used to help reduce bioburden.