When Should I Perform Point-of-Care Fluorescence Imaging of Wound Bioburden? Guidelines Based on Delphi Consensus
Excessive levels of bacteria impede wound healing and can lead to infectious complications. Unfortunately, clinical signs and symptoms of elevated bacterial burden are often unreliable. As a result, point-of-care fluorescence imaging, used to detect critical bacterial burden in wounds, is becoming widely recognized and adopted by clinicians as an essential tool to help identify elevated bacterial burden in wounds.
A Delphi method was employed to establish guidelines on fluorescence imaging of bacterial burden using the MolecuLight i:X, the only point-of-care solution to visualize the presence of significant bacterial burden (>104 CFU/g) in wounds.
A multidisciplinary panel of 32 international wound experts (56% MD, 22% podiatrist, 12.5% nurses/nurse practitioners) representing multiple sites of service (e.g., hospital outpatient, inpatient, private office, long-term care) completed two rounds of online questionnaires.
The Delphi included key topics, such as competencies required to perform imaging, clinical indications for imaging (e.g., signs/symptoms present, procedures warranting imaging), frequency of imaging, and a clinical workflow algorithm.
This international and interdisciplinary consensus panel led 96% of wound care experts to agree that “fluorescence imaging led to improved wound healing.” The findings of the Delphi panel and the new guidelines were recently published as “Guidelines for Point-of-Care Fluorescence Imaging for Detection of Wound Bacterial Burden Based on Delphi Consensus” by Oropallo et al. in Diagnostics, 2021;11(7):1219.
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