Wound Types and Dressings

By | April 26, 2017
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Dressing type Properties

Gauze

  • Dressings can stick to the wound surface and disrupt the wound bed when removed
  • Only use on minor wounds or as secondary dressings.

 

Tulle

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  • Dressing does not stick to wound surface
  • Suitable for flat, shallow wound
  • Useful in patient with sensitive skin

Semipermeable film

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  • Sterile sheet of polyurethane coated with acrylic adhesive
  • Transparent allowing wound checks
  • Suitable for shallow wound with low exudate

Hydrocolloids

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  • Composed of carboxymethylcellulose, gelatin, pectin, elastomers and adhesives that turn into a gel when exudate is absorbed. This creates a warm, moist environment that promotes debridement and healing
  • Depending on the hydrocolloid dressing chosen can be used in wounds with light to heavy exudate, sloughing or granulating wounds
  • Available in many forms (adhesive or non-adhesive pad, paste, powder) but most commonly as self-adhesive pads

Hydrogels

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  • Composed mainly of water in a complex network or fibres that keep the polymer gel intact. Water is released to keep the wound moist
  • Used for necrotic or sloughy wound beds to rehydrate and remove dead tissue. Do not use for moderate to heavily exudating wounds

Alginates

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  • Composed of calcium alginate (a seaweed component). When in contact with wound, calcium in the dressing is exchanged with sodium from wound fluid and this turns dressing into a gel that maintains a moist wound environment
  • Good for exudating wounds and helps in debridement of sloughing wounds
  • Do not use on low exudating wounds as this will cause dryness and scabbing
  • Dressing should be changed daily

Polyurethane or silicone foams

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  • Designed to absorb large amounts of exudates
  • Maintain a moist wound environment but are not as useful as alginates or hydrocolloids for debridement
  • Do not use on low exudating wounds as this will cause dryness and scabbing

Hydrofibre

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  • Soft non-woven pad or ribbon dressing made from sodium carboxymethylcellulose fibres
  • Interact with wound drainage to form a soft gel
  • Absorb exudate and provide a moist environment in a deep wound that needs packing

Collagens

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  • Dressings come in pads, gels or particles
  • Promote the deposit of newly formed collagen in the wound bed
  • Absorb exudate and provide a moist environment

Wound type Dressing type 

Clean, medium-to-high exudate (epithelialising)

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  • Paraffin gauze
  • Knitted viscose primary dressing

Clean, dry, low exudate (epithelialising)

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  • Absorbent perforated plastic film-faced dressing
  • Vapour-permeable adhesive film dressing

Clean, exudating (granulating)

  • Hydrocolloids
  • Foams
  • Alginates

Slough-covered

  • Hydrocolloids
  • Hydrogels
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Dry, necrotic

  • Hydrocolloids
  • Hydrogels

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