• Impact of anti-microbial gauze upon bacterial colonies in packing wounds

Purpose/Rationale: Wound infections result from an alteration of the dynamic balance between the host and offending organism. Infection should be considered in any chronic wound that fails to show signs of healing, despite "ideal" conditions 1 Clinically effective wound management should incorporate approaches proven to reduce bacterial counts and restore equilibrium. The objective of this trial was to test the alternative hypothesis: Use of anti-microbial gauze will result in a greater reduction of bacterial colony counts in wounds requiring packing as measured by quantitatively comparing the bacterial colonies cultured.

Methodology: This prospective, multi-center, open label, randomized, controlled case series compared an anti-microbial gauze dressing* to regular gauze without an anti-microbial agent. Twenty subjects were enrolled with wounds that required packing and randomized to either the anti-microbial gauze or the control dressing. Eligible wounds included an equal distribution of various etiologies (diabetic, surgical, and pressure). At least once a day, all subjects received dressing changes that were in compliance with the randomization schedule.

Upon study enrollment and thereafter weekly for 4 consecutive weeks, the investigators conducted a total of 5 study-related dressing changes. During these visits, wound swab cultures were collected from the enrolled wounds via aseptic technique. All cultures were sent to a CLIA certified laboratory for susceptibility testing and quantitative analysis.

Results: Recovered microorganisms were typical of chronic wounds. However, compared to the control group, wounds randomized to the anti-microbial gauze demonstrated a greater reduction in both the total number of microorganisms as well as log colony counts (cfu/ml). Moreover, these effects were immediate, as fewer microorganisms were recovered in the study group at Weeks 1 and 2.

Conclusion: Study findings indicate that this anti-microbial gauze may be beneficial in reducing the bacterial bioburden in a variety of wounds, thus minimizing risk of wound infection.

*Kerlix® A.M.D. Gauze Dressing, Tyco Healthcare Group, LP, Mansfield, MA

Reference: 1 Dow, G. Infection in chronic wounds. In: Krasner, DL, Rodeheaver, GT, Sibbald, RG (eds). Chronic Wound Care: A Clinical Source Book for Healthcare Professionals, Third Edition. Wayne, PA: HMP Communications, 2001: 343-356.

Published Study:   Motta, G., Milne, C., Corbett, L. Impact of antimicrobial gauze on bacterial colonies in wounds that require packing. Ostomy /Wound Management , 2004; 50(8): 48-62.

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