Topic Progress:

Topic One: Classification of Advanced Wound Care Dressings

The sheer variety of dressing types and therapies available within the classification of ‘advanced wound care’ means that some further classification needs to be applied for the non-specialist nurse to make appropriate dressing choices, and to know when to seek advice from a clinical specialist.

Timmons (2006) has proposed a clear and practical system of dividing dressings into three classifications.

First Line

These products would potentially be used under advice from a clinical specialist, such as a Tissue Viability or Vascular Nurse, in situations where ‘the wound requires more intense therapy’ (Timmons, 2006). Antimicrobial products, such as silver, PHMB, iodine-containing products, larval therapy and vacuum-assisted therapy, fall into this category.

Second Line

This category includes products such as alginates, foams, hydrocolloids, hydrogels and films. Such treatments are generally available on a wound care formulary and, as such, are freely prescribed by non-specialist health care professionals without involving a clinical specialist on wounds which are viewed as ‘healing normally’ (Timmons, 2006).