FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a foam wound dressing used for?
Foam wound dressing is very effective for exuding wounds with minimal or heavy drainage volumes, and it is an excellent option for primary and secondary dressing. Foam dressing is nonadherent, absorbent, repellent, durable, and easy to apply. Because of these attributes, foam dressing is suitable for many on partial- or full-thickness wounds, surgical wounds, leg ulcers, lacerations, skin grafts, and tracheostomy tubes. Since foam dressings have thermal properties, they are essential for use on wounds requiring warm insulation. In addition, many doctors and nurses use foam dressings in negative pressure wound therapy and treating wounds with softened necrotic tissue.
How often should you change foam dressings?
For determining the length of time between foam dressing changes, you must consider the absorption rate of the particular type of foam dressing you are using. Most foam wound dressings have polyurethane structures available in various kinds: film-backed, polyurethane membranes, and gels. Each type has its independent levels of absorbency and permeability. These differences determine how these foam wound-dressing handle exudate. For example, polyurethane foam gels are exceptionally absorbent and highly permeable to moisture, allowing them to be effective for up to five days. But, for the most part, you should change foam dressings when you see exudate within 1 cm of the edge of the dressing or two to five days.
Are Band-Aids and foam wound dressings the same things?
Dressing and bandages combine to protect a wound from contamination as it heals by maintaining a proper balance of moisture and exudate absorption. However, dressing and bandages have entirely different functions, even though they are conceptually related. A dressing has the dual purpose of absorbing excess fluids and preventing foreign matter from getting to a clean wound. So, the foam dressing relies on bandages to hold it in place directly over the wound. Thus, the combination of foam wound dressing and bandaging provides the wound with complete protection and a controlled healing environment. Alternatively, hybrid wound dressing products like Band-Aids are available with a white gauze pad for the dressing and a plastic adhesive strip for bandaging.
Can you put a foam dressing over calcium alginate dressing?
Calcium alginate dressings have loose fleece fibers capable of adsorbing 10 to 15 times their weight in exudate. The calcium alginate in the dressing turns the wound’s discharge into a gel-like substance. Since wounds require drainage in various contours, calcium alginate dressing is available in ribbons, ropes, and flat sheets. Ribbon and rope dressing protect and drain cavity wounds, and flat sheets do the same for surface wounds. Since calcium alginate dressing often needs a secondary dressing, you can place a foam wound dressing directly on top of it without any conflict. Plus, both dressings have similar change schedules.
How do you apply foam dressings?
After washing your hands in soap and water, put on sterile gloves before cleaning the wound and the nearby skin. After you finish this task, discard the soiled gloves, rewash your hands, and put on a new pair of sterile gloves before applying the dressing. A no-sting barrier film may be necessary if the skin is fragile or exposable to exudate. Also, You can use the PolyMem foam wound care dressing together with a moisture-activated cleansing agent, glycerin, or starch for extra absorption.
If you use a foam wound dressing with an adhesive border, remove the printer line to expose the adhesive side. Then, position the foam dressing directly over the wound and gently lower it into place while being careful not to stretch the skin or the dressing during the process. Heel and other curved areas of the body require you to stabilize the wound area with one hand while using the other hand to shape the dressing to the wound surface. If you use the non-adhesive foam dressing, apply the gauze secondary dressing and secure it with bandaging or surgical tape. Throw away your gloves and all packaging when you finish.
Can you be allergic to adhesive wound dressings?
Some people may be allergic to the adhesive used on wound dressings or bandages. In most cases, the allergic reaction will be limited to a skin reaction like contact dermatitis. When the use of adhesive wound dressings is unavoidable, a liquid skin protectant can be applied before placing the adhesive bandage on the skin to act as a barrier.
Please note: If you are allergic to other adhesives or latex products, always contact your physician before using adhesive wound dressings of any sort. Alternatively, use non-adhesive bandages secured in place with rolled gauze.
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