Is charcoal dressing a silver bullet in battle against MRSA?
An antimicrobial wound dressing trialled in nursing homes has proved effective in treating wound sites infected with Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA). The use of a silver impregnated charcoal dressing, Actisorb Silver 220, has been so successful that it has been made standard policy across the Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS Hospitals Trust. The procedure was developed by two nurses, sisters Kathy Leak and Sue Johnson, who were concerned at the level of MRSA infections at open treatment sites such as gastrostomies, tracheostomies and central venous catheters. They carried out a small open study in nine patients with MRSA infected gastrostomy sites. With good wound care, wrapping Actisorb Silver 220 around the wound entry site eradicated MRSA and most wounds improved in one week. “We began using the silver-charcoal dressings on patients who had entered nursing homes after being discharged from hospital. These were informal trials conducted over about four years,” Sr Leak told Caring Times. “Most