Uncovering the Cause of Chronic Wounds

Jul 10, 2023
Uncovering the Cause of Chronic Wounds
Chronic wounds don’t follow a normal healing process, and they’re often resistant to traditional treatment. Learn how wound pathogen detection can uncover the cause — the key for a more effective treatment.

Up to 2% of Americans suffer chronic wounds in their lifetimes. A chronic wound is one that doesn’t progress through a normal healing process, often resisting traditional treatments and increasing your risk of severe complications.

If you have a chronic wound, identifying the underlying cause is key for effective management and successful healing. The good news is that diagnostic services at Path MD Labs in Los Angeles, California, can help.

Our team specializes in reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing, a type of advanced wound pathogen detection. Read on to learn more about how RT-PCR testing can detect specific pathogens and revolutionize wound care.

Understanding chronic wounds

Chronic wounds are wounds that fail to follow the normal healing process within a reasonable timeframe, which is typically about three months. Factors like impaired immune function, poor circulation, and underlying health conditions like diabetes can make chronic wounds more likely.

However, one critical aspect that’s often overlooked in traditional wound care is the presence of pathogens. Bacteria, fungi, and viruses, can be present in chronic wounds, hindering wound healing and exacerbating infections.

How RT-PCR testing works

At Path MD, we do RT-PCR testing for wound diagnostics. It’s a molecular diagnostic technique that detects the genetic material (RNA or DNA) of specific pathogens present in a wound.

This method is highly sensitive and specific, allowing us to precisely identify the pathogens causing chronic wound infections. By identifying the genetic material unique to each pathogen, RT-PCR testing enables healthcare professionals to accurately pinpoint and treat the specific culprits behind your stubborn wounds.

Benefits of RT-PCR testing in wound pathogen detection include:

Improved accuracy

Traditional culture-based methods often fail to identify certain pathogens due to their slow growth or specific culture requirements. RT-PCR testing, on the other hand, can detect even low levels of genetic material, providing more accurate results and allowing for targeted treatment plans.

Rapid detection

Traditional culturing methods can take days or weeks to produce results, delaying appropriate interventions. RT-PCR testing, in contrast, offers rapid detection within 24-48 hours. This rapid turnaround time gives your healthcare providers the information they need to make treatment decisions and prevent further complications.

Identification of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs)

MDROs, like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), pose a significant challenge in wound care due to their resistance to commonly used antibiotics. RT-PCR testing enables early detection of these resistant organisms, so your doctors can prescribe appropriate antibiotic therapy and implement infection control measures early on.

Tailored treatment plans

By accurately identifying the specific pathogens causing chronic wounds, RT-PCR testing facilitates customized chronic wound treatment plans. Your healthcare team may initiate targeted antimicrobial therapy, and focus on eradicating the identified pathogens to promote wound healing.

Monitoring treatment response

Depending on your situation, we can also use RT-PCR testing to monitor how effective your antimicrobial treatment is over time. By periodically assessing the presence or absence of specific pathogens, we can determine whether your treatment regimen is successfully eliminating the identified pathogens and your doctor can adjust therapy as necessary.

Chronic wounds can have a profound impact on your quality of life, and RT-PCR testing offers significant advantages in wound pathogen detection and a better path to healing. Contact our team by phone or send us a message online to learn more.