Swabbing using the “Levine” technique is superior to the “Z” technique in determining the presence of bacteria in clinically infected wounds, according to Australian researchers.
The Levine technique involves rotating the wound swab over a 1 cm2 area of the wound; the Z technique involves rotating the swab between the fingers in a zigzag fashion across the wound without touching its edge.
The researchers assessed the techniques in 50 patients and found, overall, the Levine technique detected significantly more organisms.
They suggest this is because it samples a greater concentration of microorganisms from both the surface and slightly below the surface of the wound.
- Angel ED, et al. The clinical efficacy of two semi-quantitative wound-swabbing techniques in identifying the causative organism(s) in infected cutaneous wounds. International Wound Journal (2011) 8: 176-185
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