Debridement helps wounds heal more quickly, study results show.

It may be a stretch to say that a clean wound is a happy wound. But a new study finds that debridement appears to at least speed up the healing process.

For the study, researchers examined data from more than 100,000 patients treated at wound care centers between 2008 and 2012.

On average, wounds were cleaned twice through debridement, which is the removal of necrotic tissue and other foreign substances. Wounds that were debrided more frequently generally healed faster, the researchers discovered.  

Diabetic foot ulcers that were cleaned at least weekly healed in an average 21 days, compared with 76 days for wounds debrided only once every two weeks or more, the researchers found. On average, traumatic wounds healed in two weeks with frequent debridement and in seven weeks if cleaned less often.

It’s possible that study subjects who received more frequent debridement also were more diligent about caring for their wounds in other ways, the researchers acknowledged.

Research was led by James R. Wilcox, RN, who works for Healogics.