A Wound Dressing generates the perfect wound healing environment. Wound dressings vascularize and reduce exudate creating a sound wound bed through debriding, controlling infections and irritations, moisturizing, reproducing an epidermal layer, maintaining thermal conditions, and protecting from trauma.
The Wound Bed:
An optimal wound bed is vital to wound healing. The first step to wound healing is Wound Bed assessment which consists in checking for levels of slough, eschar, bone, cartiladge, and necrosing tissue or foreign bodies. Next is debriding and asepsis which entails extracting any structure or material that could impair wound healing. Subsequent to debridement and initial asepsis, the goal is maintaining adequate moisture or exudate levels. Too much exudate creates excessive impregnation and hinders granulation and epithelial formation. Too little exudate discourages cell activity also deterring granulation and epithelial formation. Likewise, the chronic presence of wound exudate could also inhibit regeneration. Wound Dressings are critical to regulate moisture levels. Wound Dressing selection depends on the wound and its condition: color, odor, exudation, state, location, and any external but pertinent factors on the patient (e.g.: diabetes, allergies, health). The wrong dressing can delay and seriously affect wound healing. A wound's need will evolve so it is important to monitor the wound to switch wound dressing types accordingly. During this process, wound moist or exudate must be checked continuously to ensure that any bacterial presence is timely discharged.
Things to Consider:
- Perform Wound Cleansing and Debridement prior applying any Wound Dressing.
- Keep the wound moist removing exudate if the wound gets wet.
- Maintain a warm environment around the wound.
- Do not use adhesive dressings directly in an open wound.
- Do not let a dressing impair body movements.
- Ensure a clean environment around the wound - The periwound area.
- On occasion, administer pain medication during dressing changes.
- Limit dressing changes.