Wound Infection Guide - Coloplast UK

Is your wound progressing towards healing?

All open wounds heal the same way. First, new red tissue builds up from the bottom and then new skin grows in from the edges and covers the red tissue. Your wound will heal fastest if you create the best conditions for new tissue to grow. Keep your wound: clean, warm & moist.

Tips on how to document your wound progression

Your healthcare professional may already have given you instructions on how to document the progress of your wound, which you should follow.

See below for general tips that can help you in documenting the progress of your wound:

  • Take a picture of the wound after cleaning from the same distance and angle for every dressing change

  • Note down any unusual observations, for example change in pain level, change in the level of wound fluid oozing from the wound, change of colour of the wound and wound surroundings

How can you protect your wound from infection?

Germs from your skin or your environment can create an infection in the wound. Wash your hands following the correct hand washing procedure – this is one of the most important things you and your care givers can do to prevent infection.

Please refer to the hand washing guide, and the step-by-step guide on how to clean your wound before applying a new dressing. This can be found on the main page.

If your dressing does not stay in place and cover your wound, you may be at an increased risk of infection. The dressing will prevent bacteria getting into the wound, reducing the risk of contamination.

Keep a clean dressing on your wound – dressings keep germs out and protect the wound from injury. They also help absorb fluid that drains from the wound that could damage the surrounding skin.

How do I know if my wound gets infected?

There are some signs that you should be aware of, as they can be signs of wound infection.

 Contact your healthcare professional if you notice any of the following:

  • The wound is not progressing as expected

  • The wound may be oozing more than usual, or the wound fluid becomes thicker

  • The dressing may become more wet than normal

  • You may experience an increased amount of pain from the wound

  • There can be an unusual smell from the wound

  • There may be an increase in redness and/or swelling around the wound

Please note that if you have a diabetic foot ulcer your wound may not show these signs - always be very aware of any changes in your wound and contact your Healthcare Professional if you have any concerns.

Be aware of spreading infection

If you experience any of the following contact your Healthcare Professional immediately.

  • If redness, pain and/or swelling spreads to areas away from the immediate edge of the wound

  • If you feel unwell or have a fever

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