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Reasons to Change Wound Dressings

There are no uniform rules or criteria for changing wound dressings. Factors such as dressing types and wound drainage have to be assessed on an individual basis. According to Liza Ovington, Ph.D., once a caregiver has enough experience with wound care, he should develop a "feel."

Contamination
The most likely reason to change a bandage is that it has reached its capacity to hold fluid, states Ovington. Contamination of the bandage and possible infection are other primary reasons.

Absorbency
There are different types of bandages that absorb fluids to different capacities. Foam bandages absorb more than hydrocolloid bandages. Manufacturers often state the amount of fluid the bandage can hold on the package.

Compromised Bandage
The position of the wound on the body might be a reason to change the bandage frequently. If the bandage is located on a joint, like the elbow, the adhesive can become loose or bubble, creating passageways for dirt or bacteria.

Infection
Ovington advises the caregiver to remove the bandage and assess the possibility of infection if redness, swelling or soreness develop around the wound

Environment
A patient in a hospital bed will have less possibility of contaminating the dressing than a person moving from place to place. According to Ovington, it is important to select the appropriate dressing to address factors such as environment and drainage.

Precautions
Common germs, such as MRSA, can cause fatal infections when introduced into the bloodstream. Caregivers should wear gloves and aprons when changing serious wounds, according to an article in the "Western Morning News."

From Network Resources

 

TAG:Wound healing,wound care,Advanced wound healing products,Functional dressing,Surgical wounds

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