Use of silver dressings in wound care

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Use of silver dressings in wound care

Supported by Urgo Medical
Andrew Sharpe, Jacqui Fletcher, Jeanette Milne, Karen Ousey, Leanne Atkin, Sue Murray, Valerie Edward-Jones
5 November 2021

Infection is an important issue in wound care. Early identification and intervention are key to the patient’s wellbeing and healing outcomes. Effective identification and treatment of wound infection remains a challenge in clinical practice.

Assessment and identification of infection should be carried out according to evidence-based best practice within a structured framework to standardise care. Identifying infection can be a challenge as the signs and symptoms of infection can be subtle. The Therapeutic Index for Local Infections (TILI) score is a diagnostic tool that was developed to facilitate identification of wound infection and aid decision-making for staff, regardless of level of expertise (Dissemond et al, 2020a). Once it is determined that a wound is infected, decision-making around treating infection can be complicated as there is a plethora of antimicrobial agents and products available.

Any infection management regimen should encompass awareness of biofilm and treatment strategies as appropriate, particularly in chronic or hard-to-heal wounds. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is also a global concern that requires consideration, and all infection treatment should take an approach informed by antimicrobial stewardship (AMS).

Silver is an effective antimicrobial, which can be incorporated into an AMS-based approach to infection management. It is important to note that not all silver products are the same and a decision-making framework such as the TILI score can help to guide appropriate selection.

This best practice document aims to:

  • Provide an overview of silver as an antimicrobial and dispel myths about silver products and their use within wound care
  • Introduce the TILI score as an assessment tool in practice to guide decision-making and facilitate early intervention
  • Provide guidance on how to incorporate appropriate use of silver dressings into practice.

Jacqui Fletcher, Chair

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