Journal of Community Nursing - page 32

32 JCN
2013,Vol 27, No 4
the body is unable to mount a
sufficiently robust defence to
control the burden of bacteria
within a wound or when defence
mechanisms are overwhelmed by
the numbers and virulence of the
pathogens present.
While the clinician must accept
that some degree of contamination
of the wound with environmental
microorganisms is inevitable,
the escalation of this to a state
of infection should be avoided.
Identifying those factors which
increase the likelihood of infection
becoming a problem, taking
preventative actions to control
them, and maximising the patient’s
natural defences, are all essential
steps in preventing infection.
However, if infection occurs it is
important that the clinician is able
to identify the signs and symptoms
and initiate speedy and appropriate
treatment to control and reduce
bacterial numbers and re-establish
an equilibrium within the wound,
which will support the repair
process. Judicious use of topical
antimicrobial wound dressings has
proven to be an effective method
of reducing bioburden, enabling
clinicians to reserve the use of
antibiotics just for those patients in
greatest need.
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