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Skin tear prevalence in an Australian acute care hospital: A 10‐year analysis


Hospital-acquired skin tear prevalence is under-reported; thus, the aim of this study was to analyse skin tear point prevalence and characteristics in a tertiary acute care hospital in Queensland, Australia, over a 10-year period. All consenting adult inpatients received a full skin inspection and skin tear category, site, cause, treatment, and whether it was documented as hospital- or community-acquired were recorded. Eleven prevalence audits were analysed with a total sample of 3626 patients. An overall pooled prevalence of 8.9% (95% confidence interval [CI] 7.5-10.4) with an associated hospital-acquired pooled prevalence of 5.5% (95% CI 4.5-6.7) was found. In total, 616 skin tears were reported, of which 374 (60.7%) were hospital-acquired. Over a third of patients (38.7%) had multiple skin tears and most patients (84.8%) with at least one skin tear were aged ≥70 years. The largest proportion of skin tears (40.1%) was those with no skin flap. Of those documented, most were caused by falls or collisions, suggesting combined skin tear and falls prevention strategies may be effective. Over a decade, there was a downward trend in hospital-acquired skin tear, which is encouraging. Skin tear prevalence is recommended as a measure of care quality with an emphasis on good quality documentation.

Feasibility of collecting wound fluid during ongoing negative pressure wound therapy by the use of an additional container – A prospective observational study


Negative-pressure-wound-therapy is commonly used in clinical routine for wound management. Aim of the present study was to assess the feasibility and safety of using an additional container to collect wound fluid during ongoing negative-pressure-wound-therapy. In this present prospective observational study, patients with negative-pressure-wound-therapy were included. An additional container was inserted in the connecting tube between the wound and the vacuum generating device. The following 3 days, the container was changed daily and replaced by a new one. Further safety outcome parameters were assessed. A questionnaire was answered by the responsible surgeon. Twenty-two patients with negative-pressure-wound-therapy with a median (IQR) age of 58.5 (53.0-70.0) years were included in the present study. In median, the duration of negative-pressure-wound-therapy was 5.0 (4.6-5.5) days. In mean ± SD the collected volume of the wound fluid in millilitres (mL) was on day one 7 ± 4 on day two 8 ± 7 and 10 ± 11 on day three. In one patient, there was <0.1 mL of clear water in the additional container. No safety concerns due to the additional container were observed. This study demonstrates that collecting wound fluid during ongoing negative-pressure-wound-therapy over a time period of 3 days is feasible and safe. No safety concerns were observed.

Clinical study on orthopaedic treatment of chronic osteomyelitis with soft tissue defect in adults


To investigate the clinical application value of different flap transfer and repair techniques in adult patients with chronic osteomyelitis of limbs complicated with soft tissue defects. According to the characteristics and defects of 21 cases, different plastic surgery was applied, including debridement, negative pressure device, and tissue flap to cover wound. Among 21 cases of chronic osteomyelitis complicated with local soft tissue defect, 15 patients were repaired with sural neurotrophic musculocutaneous flap transfer, 2 patients were repaired with medial plantar skin flap transfer, 2 patients were repaired with ilioinguinal skin flap transfer, 1 patient was repaired with z-forming wound, and 1 patient was repaired with soleus muscle flap combined with full-thickness skin graft. All the 21 patients underwent bone cement implantation after dead bone osteotomy. Among them, 19 patients underwent bone cement replacement with 3D prosthesis within 6 months to 1 year after surgery, and 2 patients carried bone cement for a long time. Early intervention, thorough debridement, removal of necrotic or infection, and then selecting the appropriate wound skin flap coverage are important means of guarantee slow osteomyelitis wound healing and for providing a possible way to permanent prosthesis implantation subsequently.

Association of time in range with postoperative wound healing in patients with diabetic foot ulcers


Time in range (TIR) is a novel indicator of glycaemic control that has been reported to have an association with diabetic complications. The objective of the study was to explore the association of TIR with postoperative wound healing in patients with diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). We retrospectively analysed the data of DFU patients who had undergone surgical treatment from 2015 to 2019. A 1:1 ratio in propensity score matching (PSM) was adopted to compare patients with TIR ≥50% with those <50%. Data were summarised using chi-squared, Fisher's exact, and Mann-Whitney U tests. Patients with TIR <50% underwent a higher rate of secondary surgery within a month (P = .032) and had a longer hospital stay (P = .045) with greater hospital charges (P < .001) than the TIR ≥50% group. Multivariate analysis revealed that TIR (P = .034), Wagner score (P = .009), diabetes treatment (P = .006), and type of surgery (P = .013) were independent risk factors for secondary surgery. Additionally, patient subgroups with TIR <50% and baseline HbA1c < 7.5% (P = .025), albumin level ≥ 30 g/L (P = .039), HDL < 1.16 (P = .021), or Wagner score ≥ 3 (P = .048) also experienced a higher incidence of secondary surgery. TIR was correlated with postoperative wound healing in patients with DFUs. Strict glycaemic targets should be established for surgical patients.

The impact of topical agents and dressing on pH and temperature on wound healing: A systematic, narrative review


To assess the impact of topical agents and dressings on surface wound pH, temperature, and subsequent wound healing. This was a systematic, narrative review of the literature, following the PRISMA (2020) guidelines. The databases searched were Medline PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Cochrane Library, Embase, Web of Science, and Scopus. Data synthesis and analysis were conducted using a structured narrative synthesis. The quality of the included clinical studies was appraised using the Evidence-Based Literature (EBL) Critical Appraisal Tool. A total of six clinical studies were assessed as eligible for inclusion, A total of six dressings/topical agents were assessed and the types of wounds included non-healing chronic wounds. Of the studies, five explored pH and one explored temperature. The EBL validity of the clinical studies was low (mean quality score was 51.3%). The five clinical studies that explored pH investigated different dressings and topical agents reporting an associated reduction in pH and improved wound outcomes. One clinical study investigated the impact of topical sodium nitrite on temperature and found that sodium nitrite increased peri-wound skin temperature and improved wound outcomes with a reduction in leg ulcer size. Given the low certainty of the evidence, we cannot confidently recommend the use of any particular topical agent or dressing to manipulate pH, or temperature to improve wound outcomes. Thus, there is a need for further research to develop a greater understanding of this topic. Irish Research Council, Enterprise Partnership Scheme.

Issue Information

International Wound Journal, Volume 19, Issue 1, Page 1-3, January 2022.

News and views

International Wound Journal, Volume 19, Issue 1, Page 6-8, January 2022.

Another year another variant: COVID 3.0—Omicron

International Wound Journal, Volume 19, Issue 1, Page 5-5, January 2022.


International Wound Journal, Volume 19, Issue 1, Page 230-230, January 2022.


International Wound Journal, Volume 19, Issue 1, Page 231-231, January 2022.

Major limb amputation and mortality in patients with neuro‐ischaemic lower extremity wounds managed in a tertiary hospital: Focus on the differences among patients with diabetes, peripheral arterial disease and both


A majority of lower extremities neuro-ischaemic wounds (NIU) are related to: (a) only diabetes (DM); (b) only peripheral artery disease (PAD); (c) co-existing diabetes and peripheral artery disease (DM-PAD). This study aims to characterise the major clinical outcomes of forementioned three groups of lower extremity wound patients in Singapore. Patients hospitalised for lower extremity NIU between January 2014 and October 2017 in a tertiary hospital in Singapore were analysed. Patients' major limb amputation and mortality were assessed using Cox regression models. Cumulative survival and amputation-free survival among the three classified groups were calculated using Kaplan-Meier analysis. Compared with patients with only DM, those in the PAD group and the DM-PAD group had higher risk of major limb amputation (adjusted hazard ratio: 2.47, 95% CI: 1.65-3.70; adjusted hazard ratio: 2.01, 95% CI: 1.53-2.65 respectively) and mortality (adjusted hazard ratio: 2.36, 95% CI: 1.57-3.55; adjusted hazard ratio: 2.46, 95% CI: 1.86-3.26 respectively). The 3-year survival and amputation-free survival were lowest in the DM-PAD group (52.1% and 41.5% respectively), followed by the PAD group (53.3% and 44.6% respectively) and the DM group (74.2% and 68.5% respectively). Lower extremity NIU patients with PAD or DM-PAD were found to have poorer clinical prognosis than those with DM only.

Investigation of red cell distribution width as a prognostic criterion in severe burns


This study was conducted to examine red cell distribution width (RDW) as a prognostic criterion in severe burns. The study is a descriptive correlational study and was carried out retrospectively. Patients with high RDW and low albumin values among severe burn injuries in the burn unit of a university hospital constituted half of the sample. Severe burns with RDW within normal range and a prognostic criterion for which albumin level normal and closest to normal accounted for the other half. RDW and albumin values were compared with the clinical results of patients with severe burns. IBM SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) Statistics 25 was used for data analysis. Of the burn patients, 38.33% were between the age of 65–80, 51.67% were men, and 92.5% had third-degree burns. The mean albumin level of the patients was 2.39 ± 0.34 g/dL, and the mean RDW level was 18.47 ± 6.15%. The length of the stay in the intensive care unit was 13.45 ± 7.83 days, and the duration of central venous catheter use was 23.41 ± 8.25 days. High RDW and low albumin values were found to be associated with death, length of stay in the intensive care unit, and more blood transfusion. High RDW and hypoalbuminemia significantly affect the clinical results of severe burns. Both parameters are effective in determining the clinical course of burn patients, the length of hospital stay, presence of catheters and medication treatment protocol.

Background pain in persons with chronic leg ulcers: An exploratory study of symptom characteristics and management


This exploratory descriptive study aimed to describe characteristics and management of background pain related to chronic leg ulcers. A total of 121 participants were recruited from two wound care clinics using a consecutive sampling method. Data were obtained through screening interview, clinical examination, and questionnaires. The mean average background pain intensity was 4.5 (SD 2.56) (CI 95% 4.0-5.0). Pain interfered mostly with general activity (mean 4.3), sleep (mean 4.1), and walking ability (mean 4.0) (0-10 NRS). The most frequently reported descriptors of background pain were ‘tender’, ‘stabbing’, ‘aching’, and ‘hot-burning’. Most of the participants stated that the pain was intermittent. Less than 60% had analgesics prescribed specifically for ulcer related pain, and the respondents reported that pain management provided a mean pain relief of 45.9% (SD 33.9, range 0-100). The findings indicate that ulcer related background pain is a significant problem that interferes with daily function, and that pain management in wound care is still inadequate.

Risk factors that predict major amputations and amputation time intervals for hospitalised diabetic patients with foot complications


Diabetes-related lower extremity amputations are an enormous burden on global health care and social resources because of the rapid worldwide growth of the diabetic population. This research aimed to determine risk factors that predict major amputation and analyse the time interval from first hospitalisation to amputation by using standard management protocols and Kaplan–Meier survival curves. Data from 246 patients with diabetes mellitus and diabetic foot ulcers from the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery of the Department of Surgery at XXX Hospital between January 2016 and May 2020 were analysed. Univariate and multivariate analyses of 44 potential risk factors, including invasive ulcer depth and C-reactive protein levels, showed statistically significant differences for those at increased risk for major amputation. The median time from hospitalisation to lower extremity amputation was approximately 35 days. Most patients with abnormal C-reactive protein levels and approximately 70% of patients with ulcers invading the bone were at risk for lower extremity amputations within 35 days. Therefore, invasive ulcer depth and C-reactive protein levels are significant risk factors. Other potential risk factors for major amputation and the time intervals from first hospitalisation to amputation should be analysed to establish further prediction strategies.

Negative pressure wound therapy compared with conventional wound dressings for closed incisions in orthopaedic trauma surgery: A meta‐analysis


We performed a meta-analysis to evaluate the effect of negative pressure wound therapy compared with conventional wound dressings on closed incisions in orthopaedic trauma surgery. A systematic literature search up to October 2021 was done and 12 studies included 3555 subjects with closed incisions in orthopaedic trauma surgery at the start of the study: 1833 of them were provided with negative pressure wound therapy and 1722 were conventional wound dressings. They were reporting relationships about the effect of negative pressure wound therapy compared with conventional wound dressings on closed incisions in orthopaedic trauma surgery. We calculated the odds ratio (OR) and mean difference (MD) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to assess the effect of negative pressure wound therapy compared with conventional wound dressings on closed incisions in orthopaedic trauma surgery using the dichotomous and continuous methods with a random or fixed-effect model. Negative pressure wound therapy had significantly lower deep surgical site infection (OR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.48–0.88, P = .005), superficial surgical site infection (OR, 0.23; 95% CI, 0.11–0.49, P = .31), and wound dehiscence (OR, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.21–0.80, P = .009) compared with conventional wound dressings in subjects with closed incisions in orthopaedic trauma surgery. However, negative pressure wound therapy had no significant effect on the length of hospital stay (MD, 0.29; 95% CI, −2.00- 2.58, P = .80) compared with conventional wound dressings in subjects with closed incisions in orthopaedic trauma surgery. Negative pressure wound therapy had significantly lower deep surgical site infection, superficial surgical site infection, and wound dehiscence; however, negative pressure wound therapy had no beneficial effect on the length of hospital stay compared with conventional wound dressings in subjects with closed incisions in orthopaedic trauma surgery. Further studies are required to validate these findings.

Health‐related quality of life and chronic wound characteristics among patients with chronic wounds treated in primary care: A cross‐sectional study in Singapore


Chronic wounds commonly decrease patients' quality of life. Understanding how chronic wounds impact a patient's health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is important for healthcare service delivery and treatment management. This study explored HRQoL among patients suffering from chronic wounds and investigated associations with patients' socio-demographics and wound characteristics. Two hundred and thirty-three patients across six primary care clinics were assessed and responded to a survey that collected information on socio-demographic, wound characteristics, and HRQoL using the EQ-5D-5L instrument. Data were analysed by descriptive statistics and generalised linear models. The mean age of patients was 61.2 (SD: 14.6) years; 68.2% were males; and 61.8% were of Chinese origin. Arterial ulcers had the greatest negative impact on HRQoL related to mobility, self-care, pain/discomfort and anxiety/depression, and the lowest VAS mean score 62.31 (SD: 28.3; range: 0-100) indicating the worst health. HRQoL related to mobility was significantly associated with age (β = 0.008, P < .001), non-Chinese ethnicity (β = 0.25, P = .001), mixed ulcers (β = −0.41, P = .022), atypical hard-to-heal wounds (β = −0.38, P = .021), wounds with low (β = 0.24, P = .044) to moderate (β = 0.29, P = .018) exudate level, and a wound duration ≥6 months (β = 0.19, P = .033). The findings can be used to improve healthcare delivery for patients with chronic wound to optimise their HRQoL.

The amputation and mortality of inpatients with diabetic foot ulceration in the COVID‐19 pandemic and postpandemic era: A machine learning study


This study aimed to explore the clinical characteristic and outcomes of inpatients with diabetic foot ulceration (DFU) in 2019 (prelockdown) and 2020 (postlockdown) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, at an emergency medical service unit. Prediction models for mortality and amputation were developed to describe the risk factors using a machine learning-based approach. Hospitalized DFU patients (N = 23) were recruited after the lockdown in 2020 and matched with corresponding inpatients (N = 23) before lockdown in 2019. Six widely used machine learning models were built and internally validated using 3-fold cross-validation to predict the risk of amputation and death in DFU inpatients under the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous DF ulcers, prehospital delay, and mortality were significantly higher in 2020 compared to 2019. Diabetic foot patients in 2020 had higher hs-CRP levels (P = .037) but lower hemoglobin levels (P = .017). The extreme gradient boosting (XGBoost) performed best in all models for predicting amputation and mortality with the highest area under the curve (0.86 and 0.94), accuracy (0.80 and 0.90), sensitivity (0.67 and 1.00), and negative predictive value (0.86 and 1.00). A long delay in admission and a higher risk of mortality was observed in patients with DFU who attended the emergency center during the COVID-19 post lockdown. The XGBoost model can provide evidence-based risk information for patients with DFU regarding their amputation and mortality. The prediction models would benefit DFU patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The healing dynamics of non‐healing wounds using cryo‐preserved amniotic membrane


We evaluated the effect of the application of cryo-preserved amniotic membrane on the healing of 26 non-healing wounds (18 patients) with varying aetiologies and baseline sizes (average of 15.4 cm2), which had resisted the standard of care treatment for 6 to 456 weeks (average 88.8 weeks). Based on their average general responses to the application of cryo-preserved AM, we could differentiate three wound groups. The first healed group was characterised by complete healing (100% wound closure, maximum treatment period 38 weeks) and represented 62% of treated wounds. The wound area reduction of at least 50% was reached for all wounds in this group within the first 10 weeks of treatment. Exactly 19% of the studied wounds responded partially to the treatment (partially healed group), reaching less than 25% of closure in the first 10 weeks and 90% at maximum for extended treatment period (up to 78 weeks). The remaining 19% of treated wounds did not show any reaction to the AM application (unhealed defects). The three groups have different profiles of wound area reduction, which can be used as a guideline in predicting the healing prognosis of non-healing wounds treated with a cryo-preserved amniotic membrane.