Understanding Wound Classification & Choosing the Right Wound Dressing for Advanced Wound Care Treatment
There are certain wounds, especially the chronic ones, that require advanced wound care products for proper and often expedited healing process!
The advanced wound management starts with the correct evaluation of the wound itself and the condition of the patient. This wound evaluation determines the right treatment for the wound type and the advanced wound care products that should be used. There is a wide variety of advanced wound care devices available, and when these products and devices are used in the advanced wound care treatment, it promotes quicker healing and reduces the risk of infection.
The typical six main wound types are:
- Surgical These wounds are created during any invasive surgical or medical procedure that usually penetrates beneath the skin layer.
- Traumatic These are the cuts, tears, or punctures that are caused by an external force which is either applied accidentally or intentionally.
- Diabetic Due to the diabetic neuropathy, there are certain skin damages which can occur even without the patient being aware of it. This includes all kinds of diabetic wounds from foot ulcers to repeated irritation of an area which becomes infected.
- Venous A compromised circulatory system can often result in poor venous return. Blood pools typically in the lower legs reduce the blood flow to the skin and instigate the formation of ulcers.
- Pressure Constant pressure, irritation, or both, over the bony prominence, often create an ulcer mainly in the lower legs, back, or hips.
- Arterial A reduced arterial flow into an extremity may lead to ischemia which results in an ulcer-like wound.
Selecting the Right Dressing
For advanced wound care treatment comes the advanced wound dressing, but you need to understand that not all advanced wound dressings are appropriate or can be used for every wound type.
A standard practice in advanced wound healing is to help a draining wound to dry while keeping the dry wound moist. A draining wound should be treated with the alginate or foam while dry wounds require hydrogel or hydrocolloid. Below are the four primary products that are made especially for advanced wound care treatments, each of them having unique properties which facilitate the wound healing process:
- Alginates-Alginates are soft & highly absorptive dressings that conform to the wound. They are non-adhesive, which prevents them from sticking to the wound, and they can be used for packing a deep wound. Also, they are easy to remove and wont damage the new, healthy tissue. They are mainly used on wounds that have moderate to heavy drainage. And they should not be used on dry wounds as they may stick to the tissue.
- Foams-Foams come in various thickness sizes that absorb large amounts of exudate. They help in promoting autolytic debridement and can be used as a primary or secondary dressing. Also, they can be easily left in place for several days.
- Hydrogels-Hydrogel dressings have limited absorptive capabilities, and they are intended mainly towards keeping a dry wound moist. In addition, they promote autolysis of necrotic wound areas. Hydrogels are most useful with wounds that extend below the surface of the skin, but they shouldnt be used on heavily draining wounds.
- Hydrocolloids-Hydrocolloids comes in various sizes and thicknesses. They are often used as a secondary dressing. They promote autolysis of the necrotic areas and have little to no absorptive capabilities. Hydrocolloids can be left on wounds for several days to minimize the damage of new tissue when removed.
Treating an advanced wound with the appropriate advanced dressing enables the body to heal naturally. Thus, using the right advanced wound care products can speed up the healing process by encouraging new tissue formation.