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Dressing wounds [advanced]

Dressings by wound type

  • Granulating wound (red) – dressings that keep wound warm and moist allowing tissue growth and absorb exudate (e.g. hydrocolloid, alginate, foam)
  • Epithelialising wound (pink)  – dressings that keep wound warm and moist allowing tissue growth (e.g. low-adherent tulle/textile, hydrocolloid, semi-permeable film)
  • Partial-thickness burns – as above; for simple burns, low-adherent impregnated tulle gauze (e.g. Jelonet layers with secondary dressing) – review in 1-2 days
  • Necrotic/sloughy – dressing that debrides dead tissue, retains moisture and absorbs exudate (e.g. hydrocolloid, hydrogels) – review in 3-4 days
  • Highly exudative wound – absorbent dressing (e.g. fibrous hydrocolloid, alginate) – review in 3-4 days
  • Infected wound – dressing that inhibit bacteria and absorb exudate (e.g. antimicrobial dressings) – review in 1-2 days
  • Cavity – allow to granulate from bottom up (e.g. hydrogel, foam)
  • Venous ulcer – low adherent tulle/textile
  • Temporary dressing for large open wound – saline soaked large non-adherent absorbent dressings with thick sterile absorbent pads above (secure with bandages)
  • Closed wound – non-adherent absorbent dressing secured with bandages/dressing fixing tape, or large plaster

Dressing layers

  1. PRIMARY DRESSING = dressing in contact with wound
  2. SECONDARY DRESSING = sterile absorbent pad (i.e. ‘non-adherent absorbent dressing’ e.g. Telfa/Melolite, or simple gauze) – required if primary dressing is not absorbent
  3. SECURING LAYER = something to secure dressing in place (i.e. dressing fixing tape e.g. Hypafix, or bandages) – required if dressing is not secure or does not fully protect the wound from contamination

Types of dressings

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