Objective: To compare the clinical and in vitro performance of a next-generation antibiofilm silver dressing (NGAD) with an established antimicrobial dressing technology that was developed before the recognition of wound biofilm as a clinical challenge.
Method: Real-life evaluations of challenging wounds managed previously with cadexomer iodine (CI) dressings followed by switching to NGAD were evaluated alongside electron, confocal and light microscopy images from a challenging, in vitro, exuding chronic wound model. Clinical case studies on the use of CI and NGAD dressings are presented to further explore the real-life evidence and in vitro findings.
Results: We assessed 13 non-healing wounds that had been managed with protocols including CI dressings. After a median of four weeks, switching to the NGAD as primary dressing resulted in improvements in nine wounds and healing in two wounds, with associated improvements in wound bed appearance, while dressing usage was the same as or lower than before. The NGAD was observed to prevent the development of Staphylococcus aureus- Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm over three days, in contrast to the CI dressing, which appeared to support biofilm development once the active antimicrobial was exhausted from its carrier material. Clinical case studies exhibited this exhaustion as 'whiting out' of the dressing, with wound biofilm observed from samples taken following dressing use. Positive wound and patient outcomes were observed in two cases following the switch from a CI primary dressing to the NGAD, in highly exuding and infected wounds.
Conclusion: Antimicrobial dressings may be effective against biofilm in some laboratory models, but their effectiveness as a wound dressings in protocols of care must be verified clinically.
Keywords: Aquacel Ag+ Extra; biofilm; healing; in vitro; real-life evaluation; silver.