Not only are wound dressings one of the most visible aspects of wound management, they are also one of the most important. For many years, wound dressings were considered a passive component in wound healing, providing a mere physical barrier against further external injury and contaminants. It is now recognized that wound dressings can be an important and active part of the wound healing process, positively encouraging wound closure if used correctly.
Development of New Products
Manufacturers have devoted billions of dollars and countless hours in the development of new and innovative wound dressing products. The result is a marketplace crammed full of products offering almost every conceivable combination of properties and claimed benefits. This can be overwhelming for many wound care professionals. One way to simplify this complex situation is to categorize wound dressings according to their principal component; for example as gauze, impregnated gauze, film, hydrogel, foam, hydrocolloid, or alginate dressings.
Categories of Wound Dressings
Dressings within a given category tend to offer many of the same features and may be considered as a group. Composite dressings contain multiple components to provide a range of benefits, and should be categorized according to the clinically predominant component. A further, specific category of wound dressing is the antimicrobial dressing which promotes healing through the sustained release of an antiseptic agent at the wound surface to provide a long-lasting antimicrobial action.
Incorporating Antimicrobial Agents
An antimicrobial agent such as silver or iodine can be impregnated into almost all of the categories listed above. By understanding the characteristics of the type of wound dressing, insights into the properties of a specific dressing can be gained.
With new wound dressing technologies emerging all the time, it is essential that wound care professionals keep on top of all new developments. One highly effective way to refresh your knowledge in wound dressings and other matters is to enroll on a course that leads to wound certification. Not only does this provide you with valuable information and resources to maintain your level of knowledge, but also demonstrates your commitment to the subject to both patients and colleagues.
Learn More With Our Wound Care Education Options
Interested in learning more about wound care certification? Browse through our wound care certification courses for information on our comprehensive range of education options to suit healthcare professionals across the full spectrum of qualifications and experience.
- Gottrup F, Jørgensen B, Karlsmark T. News in wound healing and management. Curr Opin Support Palliat Care. 2009 Dec;3(4):300-4.
- Rolstad BS and Ovington LG. Principles of Wound Management. In: Bryant RA, Nix DP, editors. Acute and chronic wounds. Current management and concepts. 3rd ed. St Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier; 2007. p. 391-426.