Pilot project: Thinking Outside the Square. Low Frequency Ultrasound Debridement in Slow Healing Burn Wounds.

Mrs Sharon Rowe1

1Fiona Stanley Hospital, Murdoch Perth, Australia, 2Fiona Stanley Hospital, Murdoch Perth, Australia



Chronic wounds cost the Australian healthcare system $2.85 billion each year. The personal cost to the individual with a chronic wound is much harder to measure. Biofilms within chronic wounds create an inefficient inflammatory process leading to a cycle of increased exudate and delay in healing. Scar severity is linked to time to healing of a burn wound. Every day over 21 days after a burn that a wound is not healed, increases the risk of a hypertrophic scar. Scarring, along with long term treatment for a chronic wound, impacts on a person’s life, financially, emotionally and physically.


The aim of this pilot project is to contribute to the discussion on the use of Low Frequency Ultrasound Debridement (LFUD) in slow to heal wounds, in this instance burn wounds.


Small wounds within scar tissue over 3 weeks post injury and not healed were assessed for suitability for treatment with LFUD. Routine wound assessment determined a non-progressive wound. Patients included were considered not suitable for further surgery to facilitate healing.


LFUD treatment of small wounds within scar tissue facilitated wound progression and helped reduce repeated buildup of slough. When used in conjunction with appropriate evidence based wound care products, healing was achieved.


Sharon is the Clinical Nurse Consultant for adult burns in WA. She has Post Graduate Diploma’s in Clinical Education and Burns Nursing and a Master of Clinical Nursing. Sharon is particularly interested in building relationships with rural and remote clinicians through education, as well as the treatment of chronic wounds within the burns population.


ANZBA is a not for profit organisation and the peak body for health professionals responsible for the care of the burn injured in Australia and New Zealand. ANZBA encourages higher standards of care through education, performance monitoring and research.

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