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How to Change a Wound Dressing?

A wound dressing consists of a healing soft material or bandage which is placed on an open injury to offer protection and boost recovery.

Injury infections can be prevented using accepted professional procedures in wound dressing, keeping in mind that preparation beforehand is needed to do the job adequately. In order to better perform this job, considerations should be given to appropriate techniques and frequency of wound dressing change.

What are the techniques for wound dressing change recommended today?

Some critical issues should be kept in mind when doing a wound dressing change. Some are listed below:

All necessary medical material should be collected and placed in a secure site for current and future use. This material may include:

  • Sterilized covers to be placed in direct contact with the wound.
  • Gauze and bandages of appropriate sizes.
  • Antiseptic substance and/or analgesics to clean open injury, prevent infection and diminish hurting.
  • Adhesive band or tape to stabilize wound dressing.

Hands should be washed and sterilized before doing a wound dressing replacement to avoid injury contamination and, protective gloves should be worn at all times during dressing change.

Pour enough water on existing wound dressing to loosen it up and prevent sticking to patient´s skin. The wound should be cleaned and evaluated to check for signs of infection, such as foul smell and/or redness.

The injury should be covered with new sterilized dressing maintaining it dry and free of germs. Keeping the injury covered and disinfected will help prevent foreign bacteria growth and is bound to accelerate healing.

Close tracking of the progress of existing wound dressing should be kept so that any manifestations of irregularities can be detected and attended on time.

When do I need to replace a wound dressing?

Wound dressing should be changed whenever bandages are visible soaked, slacked or somehow tainted. In all cases, it is recommended once you´ve had a shower or bath.

The severity of the injury will usually maximize the frequency of wound dressing change. This might be because of fluid accumulation which sometimes can occur even at short time intervals in severe wounds. Today, it is known that wound´s healing time will be affected when uncovered. Also, the risk of infections will be increased. An uncovered injury cannot fully promote the development of new skin, therefore healing occurs at a slower pace.

Conditions of existing wound dressing cannot be overlooked. A dressing full of fluids could easily get infected. The current dressing should not be left unattended for too long. As soon as a problem is detected a wound dressing change should be performed.

Replacing a wound dressing can be done by a certified nurse. Remember that requesting medical assistance on time is important to avoid further aggravating a health problem. Always consult your doctor!

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