Effective wound care supplies can help caregivers help their patients to heal. After the source of the wound has been addressed, and the patient-centered pain and other complaints have bee resolved, the clinician's next step still presents challenges. Proper preparation of the wound bed has benefits such as restoring the patient's health, and allowing the patient to return home to normal activities sooner.
Step One: Debridement
The caregiver removes the unhealthy tissue around the wound to make way for new healthy tissue to grow.
Medical Supply manufacturers have introduced bandages of various shapes and sized for shallow as well as deep tissue wounds. They are treated so that they can absorb and retain microorganisms. Look for a debridement patch that claims to not stick to the wound. This will make dressing changes easier for the clinician and less painful for the patient.
This type of moist healing environment can be helpful for treating wounds such as:
- pressure ulcers
- diabetic ulcers
- surgical wounds
- first and second-degree burns
- leg ulcers
- skin tears
- lacerations and abrasions
Step Two: Infection and Inflammation
The caregiver's next goal after clearing away the dead tissue is to try to reduce the bacteria in and around the wound. Keep it clean to prevent infection. Manufacturers have introduced a silver powder and film product to protect the wound from microbes at this step.
Antimicrobial silver powder and film can be used on the types of wounds listed above, but also on:
- Central Lines and peripherally inserted central line catheter (PICC) lines (in film form only)
- negative pressure wound therapy (in powder form only)
- grafted wounds (in powder form only)
Step Three: Moisture Balance
After completing debridement and protecting the wound against microbial growth, the caregiver next must try to maintain proper moisture levels in and around the wound. A prominent ingredient in the products used at this stage is glycerine. The clinician applies a pad treated with the glycerine that covers and protects the wound while keeping it moist enough for new tissue growth to thrive.
Some pads can be left in place for 4 to 7 days. Select a pad that is highly absorbent because of this. Another feature to consider are the products that are treated to control wound odor.
Step Four: Treating the Edge of the Wound
At this stage, the caregiver may notice that upon inspection of the wound, the skin fails to migrate from the edge in order to cover the wound with healthy epithelial cells. These types of wounds are often referred to as "chronic" or "stalled."
There are dressings available that are made of collagen. Once applied, these collagen dressings are intended to improve the success rate of edge migration. The dressings in this category also have an available option that you can order, where the collagen dressing is treated with silver so that the wound can benefit from antimicrobial protection.
Some of the dressings above are considered primary dressings, some require secondary or supportive bandages to secure them to the wound. Here are a some products that can be used to help keep the dressings designed for debridement, infection and inflammation reduction, moisture balance, and stalled wound treatment in place.
- compression bandages
- elastic tubular bandages
- silicone tape
- gentle, or low-sensitivity adhesive tapes
- cover dressings with waterproof or water-resistant backings