Request
a smartPAC
Contact Advanced Tissue
1-877-811-6080
webinfo@advtis.com

A Patient’s Guide to Wound Odor

A Patient’s Guide to Wound Odor

  by    0   0

wound odor

Understanding wound odor is an important part of any treatment plan.

In 2015, the European Wound Management Association released an article detailing psychological effects of malignant fungating wounds. For many patients, as the EWMA argued, wound odor is among the hardest things to cope with emotionally, and that certainly must extend to other wound types as well. Not only is odor uncomfortable to be around, but it can be indicative of infections or other complications. It’s important, then, that all patients understand odor and how it can affect their personal wound care regimen.

What causes wound odor?

According to Canadian Association of Wound Care, odor is usually caused by the breakdown of tissue. When a part of the body or section of skin is injured, anaerobic bacteria – microorganisms that do not require oxygen to thrive – move into the wound site. As they begin to methodically degrade tissue, these cells release chemicals like putrescine and cadaverine as byproducts. It’s those agents that are responsible for the foul smells associated with injuries like pressure ulcers and exudating wounds.

What do wounds smell like?

As mentioned above, the chemicals associated with anaerobic bacteria often smell foul or putrid. However, as Wound Educators pointed out, there are a range of other smells associated with infected wounds. For example, proteus bacteria is said to smell like ammonia, a sterilizing chemical found in many industrial cleaners. Meanwhile, bacteria like pseudomonas actually has a kind of sweet smell, with comparisons often made to almonds. It’s worth noting, though, that even these non-putrid smells can still be indicative of complications. It’s important to tell your doctor about these specific smells, as he or she has experience in deciphering what each odor means in the wound healing process.

How do doctors assess wound odor?

In 1995, the research team of William Haughton and T. Young devised a method of assessing wound for proper documentation. The pair’s scale – which was first published in the British Journal of Nursing – is as follows:

  • No odor: There is also a lack of smell when the dressing has been removed.
  • Slight odor: An odor is only detectable at close proximity to the patient and when the dressing is removed.
  • Moderate odor: Similar to the above ranking, except that the dressing remains on the patient.
  • Strong odor: This is when an odor is discernible within 6 to 10 feet of the patient and the dressing is removed.
  • Very strong odor: An odor that’s also noticeable within 6 to 10 feet, but the patient’s dressings remain fully intact.

Doctors also look closely at the color of any accompanying discharge, which has a lot to do with the overall smell emanating from the wound site.

What can be done about wound odor?

When it comes to most wound care regimens, doctors have several options to eliminate odor. Chief among these are advanced dressings designed specifically to combat odors. Iodosorb is a patented gel used to remove exudate and debris, which represents the bulk of the odor-producing agents in sores and ulcers. Dressings made with hydrocolloid, which are used primarily on cuts, feature industrial-grade odor absorbers like cyclodextrin. Another popular option is anything with silver, which actively absorbs toxins, fatty acids and other agents responsible for foul odors. Speak with your primary doctor about the dressing type that is best suited for your wound and its accompanying odor severity.

No matter what dressing option you’ll require, Advanced Tissue will always be your go-to source. As the nation’s leader in the delivery of specialized wound care supplies, Advanced Tissue ships supplies to individuals at home and in long-term care facilities.
 

Explore our mobile product guide to learn more about our advanced wound care products.

Browse Now

Related Posts

4 Tips for Patients to Help the Wound Healing Process

help the wound healing processGood nutrition is important to the wound treatment process, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Clinicians know the importance of nutrition in the wound healing process. That’s because maintaining the right nutritional levels helps, according to the Mayo Clinic. In addition, a study entitled “Chronic Wound Healing: A Review of Current Management and Treatments” reported that […]

READ MORE →

How Effective is Zinc in Wound Care Treatment?

how effective is zinc in wound care treatmentIn the treatment of wounds, the role of zinc in wound care still needs to be investigated. In the treatment of wounds, the role of zinc in the wound healing process has been highly debated. There are reports and research on the use of the mineral as both a nutritional supplement and as a topical […]

READ MORE →

Hyperbaric Therapy for Wound Healing

Hyperbaric therapy is a less-common wound healing treatment that some patients may want to explore. Those suffering from chronic wounds become accustomed to a wound care regimen, normally at the guidance of their clinician. There are bandages to change, and a patient may require assistance in keeping the wound area clean and dry. To expedite […]

READ MORE →

Wound Healing Affected by Cigarette Smoke

Cigarette smoke is not good for wound healing. Many Americans are cigarette smokers, despite health warnings and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Protection. According to the government organization, cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ in the body, and increases the risk of coronary disease and lung cancer, among other conditions. Nicotine is also extremely addictive, […]

READ MORE →

Positive Thinking Can Complement Healing

positive thinkingSmiling and positive thinking may help a person feel better. In the acute stages of wound care, a patient is most concerned with ensuring the area is treated by a clinician, cleaned, dressed and bandaged appropriately. After that, he or she can continue to follow care guidelines as outlined by said clinician. However, the wound site […]

READ MORE →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top