OBJECTIVE: To evaluate an antibacterial dressing for the management of lower-extremity chronic wounds with critical colonization.
DESIGN: A case series of n = 15 patients with lower-extremity chronic wounds were treated with an antibacterial foam dressing consisting of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) foam bound with gentian violet and methylene blue (Hydrofera Blue; Hydrofera, LLC, Willimantic, Connecticut).
SETTING: An outpatient clinic in Ontario, Canada.
PATIENTS: The dressing was applied to diabetic foot ulcers (n = 8) and other venous/leg wound etiologies (n = 7). The study population was clinically challenging due to high mean body weight, extended wound durations, and high diabetes prevalence.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Wounds were assessed for clinical signs of superficial and deep/surrounding bacterial burden using the validated NERDS and STONEES mnemonic and with semiquantitative bacterial swabs. Changes in wound size, pain, and other clinical parameters were also recorded.
MAIN RESULTS: Improvements in surface critical colonization and pain score at the end of the study period were noted in some patients, especially in patients with diabetic foot ulcers. A decreasing wound size was observed in 8 of the 14 patients (57%) at week 4. One patient was excluded from wound size change analysis.
CONCLUSIONS: An antibacterial foam dressing consisting of PVA foam bound with gentian violet and methylene blue showed encouraging results in a clinically challenging study population. This dressing may be a suitable option for lower-extremity chronic wounds demonstrating an increased superficial bacterial burden. Further investigation focused on identifying the characteristics of patients who are most responsive to the dressing is warranted.