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Classification of Medical Wound Dressings

Traditional dressings include dry gauze and oil gauze. With the wide clinical recognition of wet healing theory, modern new dressings such as transparent film dressings, hydrocolloid dressings, foam dressing for wound care, hydrogel dressings, alginate dressings, hydrophilic fiber dressings, and high-permeability salt dressings, silver ion dressings, and silver-loaded dressings have been widely used in clinical application.

Understanding of clear film dressing

  • Dressing type: Semi-occlusive dressing.

  • Composition of clear film dressing: Polyethylene, polypropylene, polyurethane, polylactic acid.

  • Indications: Fixation of indwelling needle or catheter (such as CVC), external dressing.

  • Contraindications: Damp wound.

  • Advantages of clear film dressing: It can prevent environmental microorganisms from invading the wound, prevent cross-infection. Gas and water vapor can pass freely, and there will be no water droplets gathering. Internal water can pass outside. It is transparent, sticky, and easy to observe.

Understanding of hydrocolloid dressing

  • Dressing type: Occlusive dressing.

  • Composition: Mixed form of gelatin, pectin, and sodium carboxymethyl cellulose.

  • Indications for hydrocolloid dressings: Shallow skin layer and partial dermal injuries; Phase 2 and 3 pressure injuries; Wounds with yellow necrosis; Used as an outer layer dressing.

  • Contraindications: Wounds with large amounts of exudate, infected wounds.

  • Advantages of hydrocolloid dressing: It can promote the dissolution of necrotic tissue, promote angiogenesis, absorb less exudate, provide a moist environment, prevent water and bacteria, and provide a moist healing environment. After being sealed, the temperature can rise and dissolve the yellow dense necrotic tissue, which has the effect of self-dissolving debridement. It does not damage granulation tissue when removed. It is easy to cut into pieces and convenient to use.

Understanding of foam dressing

  • Dressing type: Semi-occlusive dressing.

  • Composition: Polyurethane foam and polyethylene foam.

  • Indications: Prevention of pressure injuries; Wounds with moderate to large amounts of exudate; Wounds with excessively long granulation tissue.

  • Contraindications: Dry wounds.

  • Advantages: It can absorb a large amount of exudate and has high absorbency. It can promote the dissolution of necrotic tissue, promote angiogenesis. Gas and water vapor can pass freely.

There are also hydrogel dressings composed of water and non-viscous polymeric materials, with two types: amorphous hydrogel and sheet hydrogel. It is suitable for burns within stage 2, wounds with external vein leakage, to protect exposed muscles, bones, and tendons and wounds with black eschar and dry wounds. Contraindications include wounds with large amounts of exudate. Advantages of hydrogel dressings include cooling and pain relief, limitations on local external oozing of drugs, hydrated environment, maintaining a moist wound and promoting the dissolution of necrotic tissue. It is non-sticky and easy to remove.

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