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The Use of Alginate Wound Dressings in Chronic Burn Wounds

Burns generally refer to tissue damage caused by heat, including hot liquids (such as water, soup, oil), steam, hot gases, flames, red-hot liquids or solids (such as molten steel, steel ingots), mainly involving the skin and/or mucous membranes, and in severe cases may also affect subcutaneous and/or submucosal tissues, such as muscles, bones, joints, and even internal organs. A high-performing wound cover is extremely important after a burn, and at this time, dressings can play a role in protecting the wound, preventing fluid and protein loss, preventing bacterial invasion and inflammation, and providing support for proliferative cells.

Alginate wound dressings compared with traditional dressings

Currently, various traditional dressings such as gauze and cotton pads are commonly used in clinical practice. Traditional dressings are low in cost, widely available, soft in texture, have strong absorption capacity, and can prevent wound exudate accumulation, providing some protection for the wound. They are still widely used in various types of trauma. However, with further understanding and requirements for wound healing, traditional dressings have increasingly shown their limitations.

Alginate wound dressings, one of wound plaster types, are better than traditional Vaseline gauze in significantly shortening the healing time of difficult-to-heal wounds after burns, reducing local inflammatory reactions, and improving the healing quality of wounds. The use of alginate wound dressings greatly reduces the average dressing change time and frequency, shortens the patient's hospital stay, and therefore not only reduces the patient's pain but also decreases the patient's treatment costs, with broad application prospects.

Reasons for using alginate wound dressings

The reason why alginate wound dressing can effectively promote the healing of difficult-to-heal wounds after burns can be attributed to the characteristics of alginate wound dressings. After covering the wound, alginate wound dressings come into contact with wound exudate, exchanging ions to turn insoluble calcium alginate into soluble sodium alginate while releasing calcium ions. They can absorb an exudate 20 times its own weight (5 to 7 times that of gauze), expanding into a sodium alginate gel after absorbing liquid, forming a soft, moist, gel-like semi-solid substance on the wound surface, isolating the wound from the outside world, forming a closed environment without atmospheric oxygen, accelerating the proliferation of neovascularization and playing an important role in maintaining a moist environment, increasing the regenerative ability of epidermal cells, speeding up the movement of epidermal cells, and promoting wound healing.

Alginate wound dressings have the following characteristics:

  • Good breathability, non-toxic, non-irritating, and non-antigenic.

  • Combining the effects of mechanical compression to stop bleeding and promote clotting.

  • Reducing the loss of water, salt, and nutrients from the wound.

  • Restraining the growth and reproduction of bacteria on the wound.

  • Keeping the wound in a moist environment, which is conducive to epithelial growth.

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