Early wound infection identification using the wire tool in community health-care settings: an audit report
Wound infection is proving to be a challenge for health care professionals. The associated complications and cost of wound infection is immense and can lead to death in extreme cases. Current management of wound infection is largely subjective and relies on the knowledge of the health care professional to identify and initiate treatment. In response, we have developed an infection prediction and assessment tool. The Wound Infection Risk-Assessment and Evaluation tool (WIRE) and its management strategy is a tool with the aim to bring objectivity to infection prediction, assessment and management. A local audit carried out indicated a high infection prediction rate. More work is being done to improve its effectiveness.
The Wound Infection Risk-Assessment and Evaluation (WIRE) tool was developed in response to a lack of an existing assessment tool for wound infection. Considering the number of patients living with wounds and the associated complications in the Kent area it was deemed necessary for Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust to proactively look at ways to bring objectivity to wound infection assessment.
Nationally, most wounds healing by secondary intention or are delayed in healing are managed in the community by district nursing teams and practice nurses. According to Guest et al.,1 about 2.2 million wounds are managed annually in the NHS, costing about £5 billion. Approximately 1.45 million people nationally are managed with wounds by community nursing staff every year. Earlier estimates indicate that up to half of all wounds may develop infection at some stage.2 In Kent Community NHS Foundation Trust, it is estimated that up to 60% of the district nursing workload is related to wound care, therefore making wound management a priority.
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