Friday, February 01, 2019

Leptospermum Honey is a Viable Option for Wounds in Patients with Complex Wounds, Age-Related Comorbidities

Medical-grade Honey as an Alternative to Surgery: A Case Series

Wounds. 2019 Feb;31(2):36-40.

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Modern wound management continues to present new challenges. Many patients elect to forego operative debridement secondary to high risk, fear, cost concerns, and personal ideologies on healing. Although operative debridement has long been a tenet of proper wound care, alternative innovative approaches to wound management must be considered.


This case series describes the successful outcomes of 12 patients with dissimilar wounds who were managed with medical-grade honey (active Leptospermum honey [ALH]) as an alternative to surgery.


A case series was identified from clinical experience, chart review, and photographic documentation of all patients evaluated by the acute wound care service. To be included, patients had to decline the recommendation of operative debridement or skin grafting, utilize ALH as an alternative to surgery, and have regular follow-up visits.


Twelve patients with complex wounds were identified and included in this case series. Five patients were considered high risk for surgery due to comorbidities. Seven patients were at low risk for surgery but desired to avoid operative procedures. The use of ALH facilitated autolytic debridement and healing without surgery or hospital readmission.


The properties of ALH include autolytic debridement, bacterial growth inhibition, anti-inflammatory mediation, and cytokine release, making it a viable option for wound management for patients with contraindications to surgery. However, surgical debridement should remain a tenet of wound care in appropriate patients.


In the present case series, wound healing was facilitated by the autolytic debridement as well as antibacterial properties of ALH. Active Leptospermum honey is a viable option for wound management in patients with complex wounds, age-related clinical comorbidities precluding operative intervention, and patients desiring conservative management of their wounds. Randomized, controlled trials are needed to further investigate the properties of ALH in a controlled fashion, but given the many variables associated with patients and wounds, this is a challenge.

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