Leaper, David J., Schultz, Gregory, Carville, Keryln, Fletcher, Jacqueline, Swanson, Theresa and Drake, Rebecca (2012) Extending the TIME concept: what have we learned in the past 10 years?*. International Wound Journal, 9 (s2). pp. 1-19. ISSN 1742-4801

The TIME acronym (tissue, infection/inflammation, moisture balance and edge of wound) was first developed more than 10 years ago, by an international group of wound healing experts, to provide a framework for a structured approach to wound bed preparation; a basis for optimising the management of open chronic wounds healing by secondary intention. However, it should be recognised that the TIME principles are only a part of the systematic and holistic evaluation of each patient at every wound assessment. This review, prepared by the International Wound Infection Institute, examines how new data and evidence generated in the intervening decade affects the original concepts of TIME, and how it is translated into current best practice. Four developments stand out: recognition of the importance of biofilms (and the need for a simple diagnostic), use of negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT), evolution of topical antiseptic therapy as dressings and for wound lavage (notably, silver and polyhexamethylene biguanide) and expanded insight of the role of molecular biological processes in chronic wounds (with emerging diagnostics and theranostics). Tissue: a major advance has been the recognition of the value of repetitive and maintenance debridement and wound cleansing, both in time-honoured and novel methods (notably using NPWT and hydrosurgery). Infection/inflammation: clinical recognition of infection (and non infective causes of persisting inflammation) is critical. The concept of a bacterial continuum through contamination, colonisation and infection is now widely accepted, together with the understanding of biofilm presence. There has been a return to topical antiseptics to control bioburden in wounds, emphasised by the awareness of increasing antibiotic resistance. Moisture: the relevance of excessive or insufficient wound exudate and its molecular components has led to the development and use of a wide range of dressings to regulate moisture balance, and to protect peri-wound skin, and optimise healing. Edge of wound: several treatment modalities are being investigated and introduced to improve epithelial advancement, which can be regarded as the clearest sign of wound healing. The TIME principle remains relevant 10 years on, with continuing important developments that incorporate new evidence for wound care.

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