Ultraviolet Light C in the Treatment of Chronic Wounds with MRSA: A Case Study
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Concurrent wound care therapies, including the utilization of oral antibiotic therapy and wound dressing protocols, were not standardized in this study. Furthermore, the wound history, primary etiology of the wound, and medical history varied greatly between subjects and practical issues required the frequency of UVC treatments to be tailored to accommodate the patient and wound dressing protocol. The influence of these factors on the ability of UVC treatment to reduce MRSA colonization of chronic wounds cannot be assessed in this case series. An additional limitation of the present study is the extremely small sample size. Results obtained from these few individuals do not sufficiently represent the larger population of individuals with chronic wounds that are colonized with MRSA. Future work involving a larger sample size is warranted.
In this case study involving three patients with chronic wounds locally infected with MRSA in whom previous standard wound care and topical and oral antimicrobial therapy had failed, UVC treatment was found to reduce bacterial load and facilitate healing. This case study suggests that UVC is a promising adjunctive therapy for chronic wounds infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as MRSA. However, only future randomized controlled trials can ascertain the efficacy of UVC and determine the optimal treatment dosage time and length of UVC treatment.
Additionally, prolonged and repeated exposures to ultraviolet light have been associated with an increased risk of developing certain skin cancers. Clinical use of ultraviolet light should be limited to specific indications such as MRSA-positive chronic wounds where other anti-microbial therapies have not been effective, are not available, or when their use is not practically feasible. Careful monitoring of UVC treatment effectiveness using semiquantitative swab results is suggested and continued use of ultraviolet light after wound bioburden has been eliminated is not recommended. - OWM
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