The pH of Wound Fluid in Diabetic Foot Ulcers- the Way Forward in Detecting Clinical Infection?
Carla McArdle, Katie M. Lagan and David A. McDowell
Affiliation: Centre for Health and Rehabilitation Technologies (CHaRT), School of Health Sciences, University of Ulster, Shore Road, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, BT37 0QB, UK.
Infections within diabetic foot ulcers are often hard to detect and extremely difficult to treat. The normal signs
and symptoms of infection including purulence, erythema, pain, tenderness, warmth and induration are frequently absent
in such wounds necessitating exploration of other ways of rapidly and accurately detecting infection. This study considers
diabetic wound fluid pH as a possible alternative means of monitoring infection status. CINAHL, Ovid SP and MEDLINE
were searched for papers in English published between January 2004 to May 2014. Key search terms included wound
fluid, exudate, wound, ulcer, diabetes, pH, healing, infection, bacteria. This paper considers the potential benefits of augmenting
and supporting current clinical practice in the early determination of wound healing trajectory and infection
status, by monitoring wound fluid pH. The evidence collected highlights the need for further research and suggests the potential
of wound fluid analysis as a possible surrogate marker for detecting infection in diabetic foot ulcers.
Keywords: Diabetes, ulcer, wound fluid, pH, infection, bacteria.
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