Clinical Challenges in Diagnosing Infected Wounds

Given the impact of infection on delayed wound healing, determining the presence of colonization and infection is imperative to achieving healed outcomes. Chronic wounds are always contaminated, and timely implementation of management and treatment interventions is a key component of the plan of care.


Diagnosis of infection can be a very challenging task to say the least, and it is further complicated by the presence of biofilms for which no diagnostic tool is currently available. If not addressed in a timely manner, these local infections can become systemic, leading to sepsis, multiple organ failure, and death. The first steps are a complete and thorough history and a physical examination of the whole patient, not just the patient’s wound, while taking into account both primary and secondary findings to understand the host response.


Having a thorough understanding of the principles of chronic wound care and of the current diagnostic modalities available is essential to the improvement of clinical outcomes and cost reduction related to the complication of wound infection. Our focus is on the challenges to diagnosing wound infection, including accurately determining risk factors, differentiating colonization from infection, and understanding the gold standard for diagnosing wound infection … read more