Wound Dressings: Types of dressings and advances in the wound care industry
In the healthcare industry, much attention has been given to reducing the incidence of hospital-acquired infection and illnesses. A wound dressing is a type of bandage used to cover a wound and stick to the surrounding skin by glue or wound dressing tape. It can be in different forms like a gel, foam, gauze, bandage, and other wound dressing patches. Most wound dressings consist of compounds such as polymers, elastomers, and natural products. Different wound dressings types are useful for different kinds of wounds.
Examples of these other dressings include wet-to-dry bandages, alginates, hydrogels, and film dressings. These dressings are also used after surgery or to treat severe injuries or burns. Nonwoven wound dressing and medical fabrics have many advantages in this area due to their unique qualities. Medical fabrics subject to intense scrutiny given the critical nature of their application, which has led to the development of better quality products as well as innovative new uses in the medical field. Wound dressing products are a type of medical nonwoven that has delivered significant advantage in the healthcare field.
Nonwovens are an excellent material for wound dressing for many reasons as they:
- Provide an effective barrier against bacteria
- Perform better than linen in reducing airborne contaminants
- Can be easily adapted to required specifications
Nonwoven materials used for wound dressing have also demonstrated the ability to mitigate medical environments risks caused by drug-resistant bacteria, evolving viral threats, environmental air contaminants, as well as an increasing number of blood-borne diseases.
Wound dressings developed from nonwoven materials are particularly effective since the objective of wound care is to facilitate healing and prevent infection. Nonwoven wound dressings and bandages are well-suited for direct contact with the skin, or for use in wrapping and securing the dressings.
Health professionals use a wide range of techniques when assessing injuries. Assessing begins by evaluating what happened. This is done by making sure they understand the nature of the wound and how best to treat it. The wound dressing selection chart determines which dressing is best for wounds. There are many wound dressings in the market today.
The adaptable characteristics of nonwovens are ideal for specialized wound dressings and wound care products such as bandages, wraps and plasters for cast making, gauze, medical tapes, wadding, and absorbent pads.
Wound Dressing Selection Chart tells more on which type of wound what needs to be used. They are mentioned as follows:
Gauze bandages are made from different wound dressing materials. Gauze bandages also exist with nylon or rayon and are also known as non-weave bandages. Gauze bandages are often used as short-term fixes by ambulance medics on the field. This is because they attach to other wounds for support or are packed into a wound cavity. They do not stick to the skin or adhere well to wounds. This means that they cannot hold fluids or bacteria in the damage. They can also fall off at any time.
Hydrocolloid bandages are transparent, sticky bandages placed over wounds with a layered effect. When used on top of other dressings, they create a seal over an injury to protect it from external factors.
Hydrocolloid bandages seal over the wound and hold it together. This stops dirt from entering the infected area. It allows the natural body processes of cleaning and healing. Thye also stop fluids from leaking and can draw them out from the wound area. This reduces the pain a lot, minimizing swelling, and encourages healing without interference. They are not useful for deep or infected wounds. This is because they do not absorb blood or bacterial infection.
Gel bandages are transparent wound dressings and are made from wax, air bubbles, or hydrogels. These materials form a gel-like substance when it makes contact with the skin. Gel bandages have a high water content, improving blood flow to the deepest layers of the skin. The hydrogel wound dressing bandages are thick, they aren't sterile and only one-use. They need careful application, as their thickness can be uncomfortable for the patient.
Moisture-retentive bandages keep wound exudates on the dressing, preventing deeper infection. This reduces pain and discomfort via a protective layer over the healing wound.
Moisture-retentive bandages fall off with ease. This causes irritation and discomfort both external and internal to the patient. They also do not let wounds breathe when the injury needs to clean itself of bacteria or fluid. Oxygen-absorbing bandages increase oxygen levels in a wound. As discussed, this promotes faster growth and regeneration of cells in the area. They also help seal the wound shut. This also prevents bacteria from getting into deeper tissue layers. These dressings all encourage healthy cell growth and regeneration. Oxygen-absorbing bandages cannot remove liquid from wounds. They can be harmful if applied with a large number of exudates. They also aren't suitable for deep or infected wounds.
Transparent film bandages have adhesive tapes pre-applied for more straightforward application. This makes them great for injuries on larger areas of the body.
Transparent film bandages are cheap. They cut to size at speed, and as they are single-use, they need no maintenance. As a result, they are a more cost-effective option. They also allow wounds to breathe and heal faster.
Tissue adhesive bandages allow a tight seal when applied over a wound. They also reduce pain levels a lot while promoting faster growth of new tissue in areas that cut open.
Dressing wounds is a process that may seem intimidating at first. Still, with enough practice, it can become a comfortable and straightforward process. Every wound dressing has its own pros and cons when it comes to medical treatments. Thus, most professionals recommend trying out different ones to see which works best. The healthcare provider also determines how the wound dressing process will go.
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