NOW PUBLISHED: INTERNATIONAL CONSENSUS DOCUMENT
“It is clear that the wound care puzzle is missing a piece. And evidence is mounting that this piece is biofilm management, which is increasingly recognised as a factor in a multitude of chronic disease conditions. Therefore, it may be time to rethink what ‘best practice’ entails, particularly in wounds that are colonised by biofilm or infected.”
Christine Murphy, Chair of International Wound Hygiene Panel
President of Nurses Specialized in Wound, Ostomy and Continence Canada (NSWOCC), The Ottawa Hospital Limb Preservation centre, Ottawa, Canada.
The concept of Wound Hygiene arose during an expert advisory board meeting held early in 2019. There, the panel members agreed that almost all hard-to-heal wounds contain biofilm, which delays or stalls healing. An expert opinion article published in JWC was the result, and poses the important question: is the current standard of care in wound care adequate given what we now know about biofilm?
Oral hygiene involves brushing, flossing, toothpaste and mouthwash; personal hygiene involves soap, water, sponges and moisturiser; hand hygiene involves soap, water, sanitiser and moisturiser.
Hygiene activities are accepted as repetitive, regular, frequent and necessary, rather than something we do only once. Wound Hygiene is no different. It is intended for regular, frequent repetitive use.
Wound Hygiene dispenses with the term chronic wounds in favour of hard-to-heal wounds, signifying that barriers to healing posed by the presence of biofilm can be overcome.
Biofilm is an independent factor that delays or stalls healing. A lack of visible film does not indicate the absence of biofilm. It should be assumed that, in hard-to-heal wounds, biofilm is present.
To improve management of hard-to-heal wounds, it is necessary to address the stubborn biofilm present in the majority of these challenging wounds.
We believe that every wound, no-matter how challenging, can progress to healing when the tenacious biofilm is addressed using Wound Hygiene.USEFUL RESOURCES
Why wait? Wound hygiene proposes that, to promote healing, biofilm must be managed early. Since risk or costs associated with early intervention are likely to be less than those associated with biofilm-related wound complications, we should not wait to start biofilm based wound care.USEFUL RESOURCES