Researchers hope to reduce the health care costs of surgical site infections with an innovative device.
Surgical site infections (SSIs) are wound infections that occur after operations as the result of bacteria entering the incision site. There are several different forms of SSIs, including those that affect the outer layers of the skin and others that impact internal organs.
SSIs infect up to 300,000 people per year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This places a large financial burden on the health care system, as illustrated by a 2014 report in the journal Patient Safety in Surgery, which found that one SSI infection can cost over $20,000 to treat.
However, a recently unveiled device promises new hope in combating these harmful SSIs.
Scientists have created a new camera to help treat bacterial infections.
A number of studies and research projects have recently emerged about cameras and their use in wound care treatment. For instance, a 2014 study found that photographic documentation might help people with hard-to-see wounds. People who couldn’t see their wounds were less likely to care for them regularly. Then, in late 2015, another team of Italian scientists developed a special camera to aid with early wound diagnosis. The camera uses infrared light to detect a wound’s temperature, which is helpful in tracking wound healing and watching out for infections.
Now, according to a press release, English researchers have created a new camera device that specifically detects bacteria.
A frog species has served to inspire a new kind of foam dressing.
Foam is a vital component of the wound care process. This unique dressing works by creating a moist environment within the wound site, which is conducive to faster, more efficient wound healing. For the most part, foams are made of either polyurethane or silicone, as these are the most absorbent and non-adherent. However, in recent years, there have been a few innovations in foam dressings, including ones made from potato starch and chitosan. Scientists from the U.K.’s University of Strathclyde, on the other hand, have utilized another source entirely: frogs.
A new study has found that electromagnetic fields, like from power lines, can cause amputees great pain.
According to the Amputee Coalition of America, there are 2 million Americans living with some form of limb loss. The vast majority of these cases (54 percent) stem from cardiovascular disease, though trauma represents a significant portion at 45 percent. These individuals have to cope with many complications, according to the U.K.’s National Health Service, including slow healing wounds, infections, phantom limb pain and an increase in blood clots. However, there is another less obvious side effect that amputees must be aware of: electromagnetic fields.
Cleanliness is one of the best ways to prevent infection.
According to a 2013 review in the journal Ulcers, between 500,000 and 600,000 Americans are diagnosed with a foot ulcer each year. Additionally, six percent of diabetic patients with foot ulcers will be hospitalized due to infection, per figures from the American Podiatric Medical Association.
Infections have become so bad that in 2010 alone, there were 27,000 patients who died with either infection or bedsores in the U.K., as The Telegraph reported. Fortunately, infections from foot ulcers or other injuries don’t have to be so life-altering. To better prevent these nasty complications, patients must recognize the signs of infection, understand the inherent dangers and learn proper wound care.