Figure 1: change in oxygen saturimetry level.
Figure 2: wound showing a 50% reduction in bacterial burden.
Figure 3: wound showing a 10% increase in oxygen saturimetry.

Welcare Industries’ UCS Ulcer Cleaning System is proving a new and effective alternative to traditional wound-care methods in the ongoing battle against bacteria, according to research.

Traditionally, wound cleansing is considered a mechanical action that involves rubbing a wound with dry gauze. However, a recent clinical paper presented by Dr Roberto Cassino at the European Wound Management Association congress (EWMA) in Helsinki last year, suggests this method is simply not effective enough in killing bacteria.

Dr Cassino’s paper aims to prove this point by presenting details of a clinical study concerning how the presence of a bacterial biofilm, such as MRSA, greatly hinders the wound-healing process and that gauze alone does not kill it effectively. Instead, it shows how it is better removed using gauze filled with a special cleansing solution.

Clinical testing

As part of the clinical study discussed in the paper, 50 chronic wounds with a wound bed preparation score from C1 to C3 were enrolled for treatment using Welcare Industries’ UCS™ Ulcer Cleansing System, a new pre-moistened gauze filled with a cleansing, hydrating non-allergenic solution enriched with PluroGel®, an antimicrobial gel developed by Dr George Rodeheaver at the University of Virginia, US. PluroGel has proven significantly more effective than existing therapies in fighting infections and as a result, has so far been used to prevent and treat the wounds of more than 2,000 burn patients. None of the lesions tested in the trial showed signs of infection.

Collecting information

Before the trial started, the population of bacteria present in each of the wounds was evaluated by taking samples with a plug. The size of each wound was measured with Smith & Nephew’s Visitrak system and the variation in oxygen saturimetry recorded using a reflectance saturimeter. The wounds were treated for two weeks, cleaned using the UCS Ulcer Cleansing System and protected with non-active dressings able to maintain a humid wound micro-environment. This new way of treating wounds also means that no antiseptic dressings or debridement procedures were necessary.

A pleasing result

Cleansing wounds this way is the result of the efficacy of the solution combined with the mechanical action of the gauze, which traps debris within the fibres of the tissue. Cleansing is immediate, painless and does not cause bleeding.

The tests report a significant reduction of more than 50% in bacterial burden (Figure 2), a 10% improvement in oxygen saturimetry (Figure 3) and a 35% reduction in wound size.

As these figures show, the UCS Ulcer Cleansing System is effective in both removing bacteria and boosting tissue oxygenation – two essential factors which speed up the wound-healing process and ensure a successful treatment outcome.