What are the wound dressing options for the treatment of pressure injuries (pressure ulcers)?

Updated: Mar 26, 2020
  • Author: Christian N Kirman, MD; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, MSc, DSc, AGAF  more...
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Answer

The choice of wound dressings varies with the state of the wound, the goal being to achieve a clean, healing wound with granulation tissue. A stage 1 pressure injury may not require any dressing. For more advanced injuries, various dressing options are available (see Table 2 below).

Table 2. Key Performance Characteristics of Major Wound Dressing Types (Open Table in a new window)

Major Dressing Type

Key Performance Characteristics

Alginates (sheets and fillers)

Exudate absorption; obliteration of dead space; autolytic débridement

Foams (sheets and fillers)

Obliteration of dead space; retention of moisture; exudate absorption; mechanical débridement

Gauzes (woven and nonwoven)

Obliteration of dead space; retention of moisture; exudate absorption; mechanical débridement

Hydrocolloids (wafers and fillers)

Occlusion; retention of moisture; obliteration of dead space; autolytic débridement

Hydrogels (sheets and fillers)

Retention of moisture; autolytic débridement

Transparent films

Occlusion; retention of moisture; autolytic débridement

Wound fillers

Obliteration of dead space; exudate absorption; retention of moisture; autolytic débridement

Wound pouches

Exudate control


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