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FAQ Infections & Antibiotics

Diagnosis and Therapy

Diagnosis:

  • Diagnosis summaries and evalutes the information provided by diagnostics about the symptoms of a disease and identifies and classifies the disease
  • Diagnosis forms the basis of subsequent medical treatment (therapy)

Diagnostics:

  • Diagnostics is the umbrella term covering all measures that lead to identification (diagnosis) of a disease
  • It includes physical and, if applicable, instrumental examinations, laboratory analyses of body tissues and secretions, imaging procedures and many more

In the broadest sense, screening uses systematic test methods to identify individual elements with certain properties from among a large number of elements (e.g. patients, hospital, pathogens, etc.).

In the case of hospital pathogens and antibiotic resistance, for example, in a hospital all newly admitted patients are systemically tested for the prsence of certain resistant germs (admission screening).

It can help to limit the spread of certain germs but is not a panacea because it is laborious and expensive, only identifies certain bacteria and cannot detect the development of new strains.

One-stage and two-stage treatment concepts are used nowadays to treat prosthesis infections.

  • In the one-stage concept, during one operation the infected prosthesis is replaced by a revision prosthesis after radical surgical excision of the infected or even necrotic tissue.
  • In the two-stage concept, the two surgeries are carried out seperated by an interval of several weeks. In the first procedure the infected prosthesis is first removed, the infected tissue excised and then, after a bridging period of several weeks, the new prosthesis is implanted. During the bridging period patients are generally provided with a spacer made of bone cement that releases high levels of antibiotic directly into the infected joint cavity over about four weeks.
    The spacer acts as a placeholder to prevent shortening of the muscles and tendons around the affected joint and allows the patient limited mobility and partial loads. It is removed after the new prosthesis is inserted.
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