Performed to confirm infection, a wound culture is a microscopic analysis of a specimen from a lesion. Wound cultures may be aerobic, for detection of organisms that usually appear in a superficial wound, or anaerobic, for organisms that need little or no oxygen and appear in areas of poor tissue perfusion, such as postoperative wounds, ulcers, and compound fractures. Indications for wound culture include fever as well as inflammation and drainage in damaged tissue.
Sterile cotton swabs and sterile culture tube or commercial sterile collection and transport system (for aerobic culture); sterile cotton swabs or sterile 10-ml syringe with 21g needle, and special culture tube containing carbon dioxide or nitrogen (for anaerobic culture); sterile gloves; alcohol sponges; sterile gauze; povidone-iodine solution.
Procedure and posttest care
Normally, no pathogenic organisms are present in a clean wound.
The most common aerobic pathogens for wound infection include taphylococcus aureus, group A beta-hemolytic streptococci, Proteus, Escherichia coli and other Enterobacteriaceae, and some Pseudomonas species; the most common anaerobic pathogens include some Clostridium and Bacteroides species.
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