Carbohydrates in wound care

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Carbohydrates have been discussed predominately in relation to energy sources and fuel for metabolic processes. Sucrose, table sugar, has been used as an adjunct to antibiotics in treating deep wound infections. Filling infected wounds with sugar has been practiced for centuries in some countries (34). In a study by DeFeo in Italy, nine patients who had undergone heart surgery and developed sternal infections were treated with redebridement, and the wound was filled with granulated sugar four times a day. Fever ceased within 4.3 ±1.3 days, and complete wound healing occurred in 58.8 ± 32.9 days (35). Sugar treatment was concluded to be reasonable and effective in patients with mediastinitis refractory to closed irrigation treatment. In another study using a carbohydrate derivative, 43 pediatric patients with partial thickness burns that had been treated with P-glucan collagen (BGC) matrix as the primary wound dressing were evaluated retrospectively (36). The BGC wound dressing combined the carbohydrate P-glucan with collagen. When BGC was applied to debrided burn wounds in this pediatric population (average age 5.5 yr), almost 80% of the subjects had the BGC remain intact while the wound healed underneath, with excellent cosmetic results, minimal analgesic requirements, and no need for repetitive dressing changes. It was concluded that BGC markedly simplifies wound care for the family and patient and seems to significantly decrease postinjury pain.

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