Dressings are one of the basic tools for wound management. There are many types and brands of dressings on the market, making choosing the right dressing a headache for clinicians. A well-compiled product catalog is a good helper in dressing selection, and it would be perfect if cost and clinical evidence were included. In addition to product catalogs provided by manufacturers, many medical institutions also compile catalogs of dressings used by themselves to help medical staff choose dressings.
Wound management should be a teamwork process. Doctors, as a bridge between patients, medical institutions and product manufacturers, play a vital role in promoting patients' health and improving their quality of life. However, family members and caregivers should also be actively involved in the treatment process. Wound healing is a physiological process, and patients need to understand their critical role in the wound healing process, including active exercise, normal diet, good hygiene, and skin care. The patient needs to understand that the dressing itself does not directly heal the wound, it is their own body that does the work. Changing dressing types too frequently can lead patients to believe that doctors haven't found a dressing that will heal the wound. Only through education can patients understand the importance of choosing the right dressing.
1. Know the foam dressing
Natural deep-sea sponges have been widely used for wound healing dating back to the Middle Ages. This sponge acts primarily as an absorbent and hemostatic agent to control bleeding, as well as for simple wound cleaning. Since these organic substances cannot be disinfected and can stick to wounds, they fell out of fashion in the 19th century.
The first foam dressing product for general wound management was the bordered silicone foam dressing, which was introduced to the market in the 1970s for the treatment of cavitary wounds. When in use, two liquid polymers are mixed at the bedside and poured into the wound cavity to form a wound-shaped foam. This dressing is cumbersome to use, needs to be changed daily, and tends to leave debris.
The “modern” foam dressing as we know it also entered the market in the mid-1970s, consisting of polyurethane, heat-treated to make it smooth, and used primarily for seepage management. In addition, the dressing is thermally insulating, does not drop fibers or particles, and has good gas permeability.
2. How to use foam dressing
Foam dressings are generally soft in texture, have toughness, have good compliance, and do not adhere to the wound. Its main function is to absorb exudate and maintain a moist healing environment. Foam dressings are available in different shapes and sizes to suit a variety of anatomical sites and wound conditions, and are available with or without sticky edges. Dressings without adhesive edges must be fixed with tape or bandages, and foam dressings with adhesive edges can be adhered to the skin around the wound, but the surrounding skin must be kept intact. Foam dressings of special shapes are generally with sticky edges and are used on specific anatomical areas such as the sacrococcygeal, elbow or heel. Most foam dressing products are in the form of sheets, and a small number of dressings for cavity wounds are in strips or other shapes. Foam dressing can be used as a one or two layer dressing.
Many companies are still improving their products. Many have launched silicone-coated foam dressings to reduce damage to wounds and skin and reduce the pain caused by dressing changes; some have introduced silver, hydrophilic fibers, lipid water Products that are colloids or cleansers; in addition, there are products that combine hydrogels with foams to enhance the management of exudate balance.