Surg Technol Int. 2014 Nov;25:45-52
Increased bacterial burden and formation of biofilm has been recognized as one of the key factors contributing to delayed wound healing. There is a toolbox of topical antimicrobial wound dressings that incorporate silver, iodine, polyhexamethylene biguanide, methylene blue/gentian violet, and honey. This article reviews a diverse range of evidence to discuss the advantages and disadvantage of topical antimicrobial dressings. Discussion will provide guidance on when and how to use topical antimicrobial dressings to achieve optimal outcomes and cost-effective wound care. Chronic wounds do not follow a predictable and expected healing trajectory, and they may persist for months or years due to underlying disease processes, recurrent injury, and comorbidities.1 With an aging population and increased prevalence of chronic diseases, the majority of wounds are refractory to healing, placing a significant burden on the health system and individual patients. Bacterial burden and biofilm have been recognized as key factors contributing to persistent inflammation, tissue destruction, delayed wound healing, and other serious complications (especially in individuals who are frail and immune-compromised).2 It has been demonstrated that when bacterial growth reaches a critical threshold of 105 bacteria per gram of tissue, bacterial toxins can cause tissue damage in the superficial wound compartment, delaying healing.2 In the literature, this phenomenon is referred to as critical colonization, increased bacterial burden, superficial infection, or localized infection. According to a recent review, over 50% of chronic wounds exhibit signs and symptoms that are consistent with localized infection.3.