With the plethora of dressings available in the wound care arena today, patient outcomes have undoubtedly improved. Get to know your advanced wound dressings before you review your clinic’s formulary.
Background: The base of an alginate dressing is made of a naturally occurring, anionic biopolymer obtained from brown seaweed. They typically contain either 100% calcium alginate or a combination of calcium with sodium alginate.
Common Products: Cutimed (BSN Medical), Maxorb (Medline), SILVERCEL (Systagenix, an Acelity Company)
Background: Antimicrobial dressings come in various forms, from foams to sheets. These dressings use several materials to combat bacterial burden, such as silver, iodine, and polyhexamethylene biguanide.
Common Products: ACTICOAT (Smith & Nephew), Aquacel Ag (ConvaTec), Telfa AMD (Cardinal Health)
Background: Derived from bovine, equine, porcine, or avian sources, collagen-based dressings can be used on partial- and full-thickness ulcers and wounds. Note that these often require a secondary dressing.
Common Products: BioPad (Angelini Pharma, Inc.), Endoform (Appulse Medical), PROMOGRAN (KCI, an Acelity Company), Simpurity (Safe N Simple, LLC)
Background: Foam dressings use a semipermeable/hydrophilic polyurethane in combination with a hydrophobic backing that provides protection. They typical have multiple layers, can be adhesive or nonadherent, and can serve as a cavity dressing. Silicone-based foam dressings can also be used to protect periwound skin.
Common Products: Allevyn (Smith & Nephew), Biatain Silicone (Coloplast), CovaWound (Covalon Technologies, Ltd.), Hydrofera Blue (Appulse Medical), Mepilex (Mölnlycke), Proximel (Hartmann USA, Inc.), PolyMem (Ferris Mfg. Corp.), UrgoTul Absorb (Urgo Medical North America)
Background: These dressings typically have sodium carboxymethylcellulose film or foam sheet backed by an adhesive that creates a waterproof barrier. Hydro-based dressings absorbs fluid, turning into a gel-like consistency. Hydrofiber dressings require a secondary dressing to stay in place.
Common Products: DuoDERM (ConvaTec), Exuderm (Medline), FlexiCol (Hartmann USA, Inc.), Tegaderm (3M), Comfeel (Coloplast)
Background: Using a film dressing allows for monitoring of the wound without disturbing the healing process during removal. Film is semi-occulsive, semipermeable to water vapor (based on moisture vapor transmission rate), and flexible for use on difficult anatomical sites. It cannot, however, handle exudate.
Common Products: BIOCLUSIVE Plus (KCI, an Acelity Company), Kendall Transparent Film (Cardinal Health), OPSITE FLEXIGRID (Smith & Nephew), Suprasorb F (L&R USA, Inc.) n
NOTE: To assist in the education of wound care clinicians, Today’s Wound Clinic offers this special resource for clinic use. This document is not meant to be an exhaustive list or serve as complete medical guidance and is intended for general information purposes only.
1. Product Know-How: The Different Types of Wound Care Dressings. WoundSource. https://www.woundsource.com/blog/product-know-how-different-types-wound-care-dressings. Published May 31, 2018.
2. Jones V, Grey JE, Harding KG. Wound dressings. BMJ. 2006;332(7544):777-780.
3. Krasner D, ed. Chronic Wound Care: The Essentials. 6th ed. Malvern, PA: HMP; 2014.
4. Rivera NS, Wu SC. Keys to effective wound dressing selection. Podiatry Today. 2011;24(8):36-43.