Dressing Types

Understanding the basic principles of wound management, in conjunction with an understanding of dressing characteristics, will make the decision-making process more effective (Weir, 2014).

Wound care products are tools that can help promote healing; dressings do no more than facilitate wound healing by providing the optimal environment for healing to proceed (Vuolo, 2009). Wounds will repair if there is adequate oxygen and nutrients, and therefore factors that impede healing need to be identified and corrected, if possible.

Product selection should be based upon a comprehensive and holistic assessment of the patient and their wound. Once the wound aetiology and the intended outcome of treatment (e.g. debridement) have been confirmed, an appropriate product can be selected (e.g. hydrogel). Selecting the correct dressing for a wound is a complicated process requiring knowledge of the characteristics of wounds, dressings, and the patient.

It is the responsibility of each clinician to ensure they possess up-to-date knowledge and skills regarding dressings and their selection. When used in the right circumstances, they can assist in wound healing and good clinical outcomes.