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Burns, Cost-Savings/ Reimbursement

The utility of MolecuLight bacterial sensing in the management of burns and traumatic wounds

Estimated costs of a skin grafting procedure which was avoided based on real-time information from the i:X fluorescence images

Hospital stay (5 days) £2000

Operating room £1500


Infection of burns and traumatic wounds leads to delayed healing, chronic wounds, worse scarring, and increased health care costs. Infection continues to be a burden on patients and healthcare systems around the world, there is a great need for timely and appropriate intervention in these wounds. However, infection remains extremely challenging to identify due to subjective standard examinations for clinical symptoms and signs of infection and suboptimal, delayed microbiologic samples. Historically, wound care has suffered from a lack of imaging technology to assist with proper identification of infection. This manuscript reviews the MolecuLight i:X fluorescence imaging device, an innovative tool which can be used at the bedside to visualize endogenous fluorescence of tissue and bacteria, facilitating real-time detection of clinically significant bacterial loads. The MolecuLight i:X’s capability to visualise bacteria, not seen in a standard examination, leads to improved sampling and enables treatment and debridement specifically targeted to regions of bacterial load. In our experience, having this technology has reduced the burden on the patient and has guided clinicians to the best course of action. This can prevent antibiotic over-usage through the appropriate use of targeted therapies and can lead to health economic benefits by preventing unwarranted, costly therapies. The use of this simple device, with tremendous implications for the future of burn and trauma wound assessment and treatment, will be discussed.

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Steven Jeffery
Consultant Burns and Plastic Surgeon, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, UK
Professor of Wound Study, Birmingham City University, Honorary Visiting Professor, University of Cardiff