The aim of this study was to observe both the clinical signs and symptoms of wounds at risk of infection, that is critically colonised (biofilm infected) and antimicrobial-performance of an ionic silver alginate/carboxymethylcellulose (SACMC) dressing, in comparison with a non silver calcium alginate fibre (AF) dressing, on chronic venous leg and pressure ulcers. Thirty-six patients with venous or pressure ulcers, considered clinically to be critically colonised (biofilm infected), were randomly chosen to receive either an SACMC dressing or a non silver calcium AF dressing. The efficacy of each wound dressing was evaluated over a 4-week period. The primary study endpoints were prevention of infection and progression to wound healing. The SACMC group showed a statistically significant (P = 0.017) improvement to healing as indicated by a reduction in the surface area of the wound, over the 4-week study period, compared with AF controls. In conclusion, the SACMC dressing showed a greater ability to prevent wounds progressing to infection when compared with the AF control dressing. In addition, the results of this study also showed an improvement in wound healing for SACMC when compared with a non silver dressing.