Digital ulcers (DUs) represent one of the major burdens for patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc), especially when associated with skin calcinosis (SC). The aim of this work is to evaluate the impact of SC in DUs of patients with SSc for clinical characteristics and prognosis assessed by the wound bed score (WBS). We prospectively enrolled 55 patients with DUs and SSc followed in our dedicated wound care clinic. For all the patients we collected clinical and anthropometric data and characteristics of the DU, and we calculated the WBS for each DU. Ninety‐nine DUs were evaluated (24 with SC). SC was prevalent in limited cutaneous SSc (75%) and in patients with longer disease duration (P = 0.02). SC‐DUs were prevalent at the fingertip (P = 0.04). The healing time was significantly higher in patients with SC (10.4 ± 7.9 weeks) compared with non‐SC (7.0 ± 5.7 weeks) P = 0.03. The WBS negatively correlated with the time to achieve complete healing (r = −0.237 P = 0.023) and the correlation was maintained in the non‐SC (r = −0.46, P = 0.033). DUs in SSc patients with SC are common and difficult to heal. When DUs are treated in dedicated centres, the prognosis is good. The WBS is fast and easy and maybe commonly applied in clinical practice.
The aim of this study was to develop and evaluate an interactive, video‐enhanced, and case‐based online course for medical students. We chose a case about wound care since this topic is still underrepresented in the medical curriculum. First, instructional videos were created to teach practical skills in wound care. These were implemented into a case‐based online course, using the online learning platform ILIAS. In a comparative initial and final survey, numbers of users were assessed, content and structure of the course, as well as the thematic interest of the students and self‐assessed gain of competence, were evaluated. Since the summer of 2019, 310 students have successfully completed the course. The survey data showed a high participation rate and a positive response regarding the content as well as the structural concept. Most of the students rated the content within the course as useful for their future medical work (86.1%) and the gain of knowledge superior to a traditional lecture (69.4%). Self‐assessments of video‐mediated skills showed a significant increase in subjectively perceived competence. The online course is an efficient way to reach many students by the small use of resources. It resembles an option to arouse growing interest in wound care in medical students.
Due to the changes in delivering medical care during the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) pandemic, such as the heavy reliance on telehealth, it is worth exploring if this is suitable when treating complex wounds. A literature rapid review was performed to explore the existing evidence around alternative service delivery modalities. While there are organisations that have successful telehealth systems and infrastructure, for services that do not already widely use telehealth it is difficult to implement a standardised system in the current state of emergency. The evidence reviewed demonstrates that telehealth appears to currently have a limited place in chronic wound management; therefore, standardisation on determining suitability in conjunction with evaluation of telehealth during this period is needed to shape implementation of telehealth systems in the future.
Pathogenic, opportunistic, and commensal bacterial coexist in the intestinal tract, and imbalances among these strains have been linked to systemic inflammation and a variety of disease states. Similarly, human skin plays an important role as an interface between the body and the environment with an estimated 1 billion microbes per square centimetres. Skin microbiome fluctuations that cause increases in pathologic bacteria, either because of individual and/or environmental factors, can lead to disease states at the skin level ranging from inflammatory conditions to infections. As wounds are inherently associated with perturbations in the local microflora due to injury and activation of the immune responses, the addition of topical probiotics could be a means to prevent infection, regulate inflammation, and potentially augment healing. The goal of this review is to analyse the impact the skin microbiome has on cutaneous wound healing with a focus on developing proposed treatment algorithms and support for their therapeutic potential.
In this work, we developed an experimental‐computational analysis framework which facilitated objective, quantitative, standardised, methodological, and systematic comparisons between the biomechanical efficacies of two fundamentally different dressing technologies for pressure ulcer prevention: A dressing technology based on cellulose fibres used as the core matrix was evaluated vs the conventional silicone‐foam dressing design concept, which was represented by multiple products which belong in this category. Using an anatomically‐realistic computer (finite element) model of a supine female patient to whom the different sacral dressings have been applied virtually, we quantitatively evaluated the efficacy of the different dressings by means of a set of 3 biomechanical indices: The protective efficacy index, the protective endurance, and the prophylactic trade‐off design parameter. Prior rigorous experimental measurements of the physical and mechanical behaviours and properties of each tested dressing, including tensile, compressive, and friction properties, have been conducted and used as inputs for the computer modelling. Each dressing was evaluated for its tissue protection performances at a new (from the package) state, as well as after exposure to moisture conditions simulating wet bedsheets. Our results demonstrated that the dressing with the fluff core is at least as‐good as silicone‐foams but importantly, provides the best balance between protective performances at its “new” condition and the performance after being exposed to moisture. We conclude that preventative dressings are not equal in their prophylactic performances, but rather, the base technology, the ingredients, and their arrangement in the dressing structure shape the quality of the delivered tissue protection.
Sutures are essential to approximate tissues and enable healing by first intention until a wound regains its original tensile strength. The mechanical properties of sutures are well documented, but the effects of exposing sutures to skin preparation solutions used in surgery are not. This study was performed to investigate whether 2% chlorhexidine and 70% isopropyl alcohol skin preparation, commonly used prior to incision and prior to closure, has any effect on the mechanical properties of several commonly used surgical suture types. Four suture types were soaked in either 2% chlorhexidine and 70% isopropyl alcohol or Hartmann's solution for 5 minutes. All sutures were left to dry for 11 days before being tested to failure using an Instron 3367 tensile testing machine. Testing revealed significant differences in failure load, ultimate tensile stress, and Young's modulus between suture types (P < .05). No significant differences in failure load (P = .98), ultimate tensile stress (P = .21), or Young's modulus (P = .22) were observed between the test group and the control group when comparing sutures of the same type. This study demonstrates that chlorhexidine/isopropyl skin preparation solutions do not significantly change the mechanical properties of suture materials exposed to them.
To evaluate clinical effects between conditional treatment and negative pressure wound therapy for mediastinal infection. Multiple databases were searched to identify relevant studies, and the articles that eventually satisfied the criteria were included. All the meta‐analyses were conducted with the Review Manager 5.2. To estimate the quality of each article, risk of bias table was performed. Finally, nine studies including 648 patients met the eligibility criteria. The negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) group and the control group included 353 and 295 patients, respectively. The meta‐analysis showed no significant difference in operative time (RR = −6.13, 95%CI [−50.00, 37.74], P = .78; P for heterogeneity <.000001, I 2 = 100%). The length of hospital stay (MD = −3.07, 95%CI [−4.38, −1.77], P < .00001; P for heterogeneity = .99, I 2 = 0%), re‐infection (RR = 0.18, 100%CI [0.08, 0.40], P < .00001; P for heterogeneity = 0.48, I 2 = 0%), and mortality were significantly different between the two groups (RR = 0.27, 95%CI [0.12, 0.63], P of overall effect = .002). NPWT is a better therapy than conventional treatment for mediastinitis.
The decomposition of urea into ammonia by urease‐producing bacterium shows an elevation in the pH level, which can lead to incontinence‐associated dermatitis (IAD). This study aimed to examine the efficacy of a combination of antiseptic and urease inhibitor in inhibiting the decomposition of urea by the urease‐producing bacterium Proteus mirabilis. We performed in vitro assays to compare the effects of a combination of antiseptic and urease inhibitor, antiseptic only, urease inhibitor only, and an untreated control with the effects of a urea‐containing solution. Cultured P. mirabilis was mixed with urea‐containing solution, followed by the addition of antiseptic and/or urease inhibitor. The main outcome used to assess the efficacy of the different treatments was ammonia concentration at 4‐hours post‐treatment initiation, and multiple comparison analysis was performed using Dunnett's test to compare the results between groups. Ammonia concentrations in samples treated with either antiseptic or urease inhibitor were lower than those in the untreated control, while the combination of antiseptic and urease inhibitor resulted in decreased ammonia concentrations compared with either treatment alone. Therefore, the application of both urease inhibitor and antiseptic is more effective for the inhibition of urea decomposition by urease‐producing bacteria. Novel preventive strategies using these reagents may be effective for preventing IAD.
We performed an updated meta‐analysis to compare the efficacy of the zipper device and sutures for wound closure after surgery. A computerised literature search was performed for published trials in PubMed, Web of Science, the Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar. Two reviewers independently scrutinised the trials, extracted data, and assessed the quality of trials. The primary outcome was surgical site infections (SSI). The secondary outcomes were wound dehiscence, total wound complications, wound closure time, and scar score. Statistical analysis was performed in the Stata 12.0. Of the 130 citations, eight trials (1207 participants) met eligibility criteria and were included. The zipper device achieved a lower SSI rate (RR: 0.63, [95% CI: 0.41‐0.96, P = 0.032]), a shorter wound closure time (SMD: −8.53 [95% CI: −11.93 to −5.13, P = 0.000]) and a better scar score (SMD: 0.42 [95% CI: 0.22‐0.62, P = 0.000]) than sutures. No significant difference was shown in the incidence of wound dehiscence and total wound complications. Therefore, the zipper device provides the advantages of anti‐infection, time‐saving, and cosmesis for wound closure.
A chronic leg ulcer is a debilitating illness, owing to the local condition of the wound and a decrease in physical activity and productivity, resulting in anxiety and depression among patients. The study aimed to find any association of anxiety and depression in the healing of chronic wounds. A total of 125 patients with chronic leg ulcers were enrolled in the study. HADS questionnaire assessment followed the local wound examination in all patients. A follow‐up assessment of the ulcer was done after appropriate local treatment, and data analysed with the HADS scale. In the present study, the ROC curve showed a cutoff value of 14 for the HADS score in predicting ulcer status (non‐healing vs healed) after 30 days. A total of 54.4% (68) patients had a HADS score ≥ 14 and 39% (49) were true positive for the non‐healing wound at a 1‐month follow‐up. This study revealed a sensitivity and specificity of 83.1% and 71.2%, respectively (P‐value <.001), and diagnostic accuracy of 76.8%, for HADS score > 14 in the detection of non‐healing ulcers. Chronic leg ulcers should be subjected to HADS assessment and if found significant corrective measures must be instituted for improving wound healing.
Ischaemic diabetic heel ulcers are difficult to treat and prognosis is often guarded. The aim was to document our outcome of treating heel ulcers following revascularization in a predominantly diabetic Asian cohort presenting with chronic limb threatening ischaemia from Singapore. Retrospective cohort study (n = 66, 66 limbs) over a 5‐year period. Data were collected from hospital electronic health records. Outcomes included time to healing, amputation free survival (AFS), and mortality. Minimum follow‐up period was 6 months. Multivariate regression analysis was performed to look for factors associated with poor outcome. Mean age was 67.4 ± 8.8 years. 62/66 (93.9%) were diabetics. Mean wound size at presentation was 3.6 ± 2.3 cm. Mean Wound, Ischaemia, Foot Infection (WIFI) score was 5 ± 1.6. 12/66 (18%) patients had a patent posterior tibial artery pre‐operatively. Straight line flow was restored in only 31/66 (46.9) patients but 47/66 (71.2%) had successful limb salvage. Median time to wound healing was 90.0 (IQR 60‐180) days. A median of 1 (IQR 0‐2) wound debridement was required. Patients who underwent negative pressure dressing (23/66; 34.8%) required a median of 26 (IQR 13‐33) cycles to achieve healing. Amputation free survival (AFS) was 72% and 68% at 6‐ and 12‐months, respectively. Mortality rate was 16.7% and 19.7% at 6‐ and 12‐months, respectively. Low albumin level and initial Rutherford class were independent predictors of worse 6‐month AFS. Outcomes of heel ulcers post revascularisation may not be as poor as previously described. Persistent attention to wound care with multidisciplinary effort is needed for optimal healing.
To evaluate continuous diffusion of oxygen therapy (CDO) on cytokines, perfusion, and bacterial load in diabetic foot ulcers we evaluated 23 patients for 3 weeks. Tissues biopsies were obtained at each visit to evaluate cytokines and quantitative bacterial cultures. Perfusion was measured with hyperspectral imaging and transcutaneous oxygen. We used paired T tests to compare continuous variables and independent T tests to compare healers and nonhealers. There was an increase from baseline to week 1 in TGF‐β (P = .008), TNF‐α (P = .014), VEGF (P = .008), PDGF (P = .087), and IGF‐1 (P = .058); baseline to week 2 in TGF‐β (P = .010), VEGF (P = .051), and IL‐6 (P = .031); and baseline to week 3 with TGF‐β (P = .055) and IL‐6 (P = .054). There was a significant increase in transcutaneous oxygen after 1 week of treatment on both medial and lateral foot (P = .086 and .025). Fifty‐three percent of the patients had at least a 50% wound area reduction (healers). At baseline, there were no differences in cytokines between healers and nonhealers. However, there was an increase in CXCL8 after 1 week of treatment (P = .080) and IL‐6 after 3 weeks of treatment in nonhealers (P = .099). There were no differences in quantitative cultures in healers and nonhealers.
Surgical site infection (SSI) is a challenging complication after intertrochanteric fracture surgery but without a large‐sample size study to investigate the incidence and risk factors of it. The present study was to investigate the incidence and risk factors of SSI after intertrochanteric fracture surgery. A total of 1941 patients underwent intertrochanteric fracture surgery between October 2014 and December 2018 were included. Demographic data, surgical variables, and preoperative laboratory indexes were obtained from a prospective database and reviewed by hospital records. The optimum cut‐off value for quantitative data was detected by receiver operating characteristic analysis. The univariate analysis and multivariable analysis were conducted to analyse the risk factors. In total, 25 patients (1.3%) developed SSI, including 22(1.1%) superficial infection and 3(0.2%) deep infection. After adjustment of multiple variables, gender (odds ratio[OR] 2.64, P = .024), time to surgery>4 days (OR 2.41, P = .046), implant (intramedullary or extramedullary devices) (OR 2.96, P = .036), ALB<35 g/L (OR 2.88, P = .031) remained significant factors. In conclusion, the incidence of SSI after intertrochanteric fractures surgery was 1.3%, with 1.1% for superficial and 0.2% for deep infection. Gender, time to surgery>4 days, the implant (intramedullary or extramedullary devices), and ALB<35 g/L were independent risk factors for the rate of SSI.
The World Health Assembly declared 2020, the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. Recent editorials and commentaries support the leading role of nurses and midwives as frontline caregivers emphasizing the need to invest in the nursing workforce worldwide to meet global health needs. Today nurses are also leaders in research and one example is skin and wound care. In order to reflect on the contribution of nurses as researchers we conducted a systematic review of published articles in five international leading wound care journals in the years 1998, 2008 and 2018. We aimed to determine the type of research publication and percentage of nurses as first, second or senior authors. The place in the authorship was selected as indicative of leadership as it implies responsibility and accountability for the published work. Across the years 1998, 2008 and 2018, 988 articles were published. The overall proportion of nurse‐led articles was 29% (n = 286). The total numbers of articles increased over time and so too did the nurse‐led contributions. Nurse‐led research was strongest in the design categories 'cohort studies' (46%, n = 44), 'systematic reviews' (46%, n = 19), and 'critically appraised literature and evidence‐based guidelines' (47%, n = 55).Results of this review indicate that, in addition to the crucial clinical roles, nurses also have a substantial impact on academia and development of the evidence base to guide clinical practice. Our results suggest that nurse led contributions were particularly strong in research summarizing research to guide skin and wound care practice.
Pressure injuries are one of the most common and costly complications occurring in US hospitals. With up to 3 million patients affected each year, hospital‐acquired pressure injuries (HAPIs) place a substantial burden on the US healthcare system. In the current study, US hospital discharge records from 9.6 million patients during the period from October 2009 through September 2014 were analysed to determine the incremental cost of hospital‐acquired pressure injuries by stage. Of the 46 108 patients experiencing HAPI, 16.3% had Stage 1, 41.0% had Stage 2, 7.0% had Stage 3, 2.8% had Stage 4, 7.3% had unstageable, 14.6% had unspecified, and 10.9% had missing staging information. In propensity score‐adjusted models, increasing HAPI severity was significantly associated with higher total costs and increased overall length of stay when compared with patients not experiencing a HAPI at the index hospitalisation. The average incremental cost for a HAPI was $21 767. Increasing HAPI severity was significantly associated with greater risk of in‐hospital mortality at the index hospitalisation compared with patients with no HAPI, as well as 1.5 to 2 times greater risk of 30‐, 60‐, and 90‐day readmissions. Additionally, increasing HAPI severity was significantly associated with increasing risk of other hospital‐acquired conditions, such as pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and venous thromboembolism during the index hospitalisation. By preventing pressure injuries, hospitals have the potential to reduce unreimbursed treatment expenditures, reduce length of stay, minimise readmissions, prevent associated complications, and improve overall outcomes for their patients.
Multispectral and hyperspectral imaging (HSI) are emerging imaging techniques with the potential to transform the way patients with wounds are cared for, but it is not clear whether current systems are capable of delivering real‐time tissue characterisation and treatment guidance. We conducted a systematic review of HSI systems that have been assessed in patients, published over the past 32 years. We analysed 140 studies, including 10 different HSI systems. Current in vivo HSI systems generate a tissue oxygenation map. Tissue oxygenation measurements may help to predict those patients at risk of wound formation or delayed healing. No safety concerns were reported in any studies. A small number of studies have demonstrated the capabilities of in vivo label‐free HSI, but further work is needed to fully integrate it into the current clinical workflow for different wound aetiologies. As an emerging imaging modality for medical applications, HSI offers great potential for non‐invasive disease diagnosis and guidance when treating patients with both acute and chronic wounds.
Patients with diabetes mellitus have a lifetime risk of 15% to 25% of developing diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). DFU is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Wound imaging systems are useful adjuncts in monitoring of wound progress. Our study aims to review existing literature on the available wound assessment and monitoring systems for DFU. This is a systematic review of articles from PubMed and Embase (1974 – March 2020). All studies related to wound assessment or monitoring systems in DFUs were included. Articles on other types of wounds, review articles, and non‐English texts were excluded. Outcomes include clinical use, wound measurement statistics, hospital system integration, and other advantages and challenges. The search identified 531 articles. Seventeen full‐text studies were eligible for the final analysis. Five modalities were identified: (a) computer applications or hand‐held devices (n = 5), (b) mobile applications (n = 2), (c) optical imaging (n = 2), (d) spectroscopy or hyperspectral imaging (n = 4), and (e) artificial intelligence (n = 4). Most studies (n = 16) reported on wound assessment or monitoring. Only one study reported on data capturing. Two studies on the use of computer applications reported low inter‐observer variability in wound measurement (inter‐rater reliability >0.99, and inter‐observer variability 15.9% respectively). Hand‐held commercial devices demonstrated high accuracy (relative error of 2.1%‐6.8%). Use of spectroscopy or hyperspectral imaging in prediction of wound healing has a sensitivity and specificity of 80% to 90% and 74%to 86%, respectively. Majority of the commercially available wound assessment systems have not been reviewed in the literature on measurement accuracy. In conclusion, most imaging systems are superior to traditional wound assessment. Wound imaging systems should be used as adjuncts in DFU monitoring.
Beta antagonist is one of the most effective and the least toxic pharmacological treatments to attenuate the raised catecholamine effects for burned patients. To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of beta blocker compared with placebo or usual care in burned patients, a meta‐analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) was conducted. We searched the database of PubMed, Embase, the Cochrane Library, and Web of Science to 10 April 2020. Two investigators independently assessed articles for inclusion and exclusion criteria and selected studies for the final analysis. We performed the meta‐analysis using a random‐effect model. A total of 12 RCTs were included in the study, including 1887 patients. Propranolol‐treated patients have a decrease in length of hospital stay in adults (weighted mean difference [WMD] = −9.06, 95% CIs = [−12.88, −5.24]) and prepare time of graft (WMD = −7.88, 95% CIs = [−12.27, −3.50]). Similarly, the use of propranolol could significantly decrease heart rate (WMD = −15.16, 95% CIs = [−20.37, −9.94]), rate pressure product (WMD = −1.32, 95% CIs = [−1.67, −0.97]), and mean arterial pressure (WMD = −2.75, 95% CIs = [−4.23, −1.26]). Moreover, there is no significant difference between propranolol and placebo with respect to mortality (risk difference [RD] = 0.00, 95% CIs [−0.03, 0.04]), sepsis (RD = −0.03, 95% CIs [−0.09, 0.03]), and events of post‐traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and acute stress disorder (RD = −0.01, 95% CIs [−0.07, 0.05]), and also, there is no significant difference in subgroup analysis based on age. The use of beta antagonist in burned patients does reduce length of hospital stay in adults, shorten the preparation time for graft, and reduce heart burden, without increasing mortality, sepsis, or PTSD compared with those who had usual care or placebo. So beta antagonist can be considered as an appropriate treatment strategy in burned patients. More prospective, randomised‐controlled, multi‐centre studies were needed to define their place in therapeutic algorithms.
When diabetes mellitus is not properly controlled with drugs and a healthy lifestyle, it exposes patients with advanced peripheral arterial disease or critical limb ischaemia (CLI) to the most serious complications, in particular lower limb ulcers. Surgical or endovascular treatments represent the first line of intervention; in addition, the adequate management of ulcers can guarantee not only a faster wound healing but also the improvement of the patient's prognosis. To speed up this process, negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT), platelet‐rich plasma (PRP), and other advanced moist wound dressing have been proposed. During Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) pandemic, many patients with CLI and diabetes mellitus had difficult access to advanced treatments with a significant reduction in life expectancy. We report the cases of patients with non‐healing ulcers and CLI treated with an empiric multistage approach after successful endovascular revascularisation; the postoperative course was eventful in all patients, and foot ulcers are currently in an advanced state of healing. The association between adequate revascularisation, systemic anti‐inflammatory, and antibiotic therapy with the multistage advanced medications ensures healing of ulcers, limb salvage, and improvement of patient prognosis.