Infections within diabetic foot ulcers are often hard to detect and extremely difficult to treat. The normal signs and symptoms of infection including purulence, erythema, pain, tenderness, warmth and induration are frequently absent in such wounds necessitating exploration of other ways of rapidly and accurately detecting infection. This study considers diabetic wound fluid pH as a possible alternative means of monitoring infection status. CINAHL, Ovid SP and MEDLINE were searched for papers in English published between January 2004 to May 2014. Key search terms included wound fluid, exudate, wound, ulcer, diabetes, pH, healing, infection, bacteria. This paper considers the potential benefits of augmenting and supporting current clinical practice in the early determination of wound healing trajectory and infection status, by monitoring wound fluid pH. The evidence collected highlights the need for further research and suggests the potential of wound fluid analysis as a possible surrogate marker for detecting infection in diabetic foot ulcers.
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