Using Objective Measurements to Evaluate Reduction in Inflammation and Bioburden Response to Application of a Fibrous Silver Oxysalt Dressing

Catherine Milne, APRN, MSN, BC-ANP/CNS, CWOCN-AP, Connecticut Clinical Nursing Associates, LLC, Bristol, CT
Purpose/Objective: Bioburden wound management is often accomplished using an antimicrobial agent. One of the most popular agents, silver, is available in several chemical and physical forms – each of which affects biocidal and biofilm disruption activity. Fibrous silver oxysalt dressings (FSODs) have demonstrated decreased bioburden via lower bioburden assessment tool scores1 and wound surface area reductions in unblinded case series1,2 reports. It is unknown how, if at all, FSODs impact inflammation.

Method: Ten certified wound nurses (CWNs), blinded to the topical agent used, evaluate standard and wound thermography serial photographs of wounds with different etiologies receiving a FSOD* over a two-week period.  Bioburden is determined using the visual Bioburden Assessment Tool3. Wound thermography evaluations, a direct measure of wound bed and peri-wound inflammation4, are done concurrently.

Results: WCNs are able to objectively determine responses to a fibrous silver oxysalt dressing application in a variety of wounds using wound thermography and standard wound photos using a bioburden assessment tool.

Conclusion: Fibrous silver oxysalt dressings can impact bioburden, wound bed and peri-wound inflammation when applied over a two-week period.  Use of objective measurements, such as wound thermography in conjunction with completion of a bioburden scale can be beneficial to guide topical wound treatment. Further study is warranted.

*KerraContact™Ag, Crawford Healthcare, Ltd., Doylestown, Pa.