How to promote healing of ulcers? The pressure’s on…

‘Antibiotics and antiseptics for wounds: evidence and ignorance’

It is sadly not unusual for some of our patients to have a pressure ulcer, and for those of you who already have experience of this, you’ll know it can be challenging to achieve healing of the ulcer. You will of course consider that the ulcer requires an adequate blood supply so that the immune system can get to work in removing debris and starting wound repair. Also, the patient will require an adequate intake of nutrition such that the wound has a supply necessary to facilitate healing. Promoting mobility is also crucial since, of course, a lack of this contributed to the ulcer in the first place. An additional consideration is that ulcers can get infected which will delay healing, so naturally you might assume that antibiotics and antiseptics would have a clear role in healing pressure ulcers – not so. Not according to the latest Cochrane review, the main points from which have been summarised by Sarah Chapman on the Evidently Cochrane blog. There is an obvious research need here, and logically nurses should contribute to this evidence base. This is imperative to promote better patient outcomes. Could this be the topic of your first research project?

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