What is the role of wound membranes in the treatment of the burn patient?

Updated: Jan 10, 2018
  • Author: Robert L Sheridan, MD; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, DSc, MSc, AGAF  more...
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Wound membranes are different from medications and dressings in that they provide transient physiologic wound closure. This implies a degree of protection from mechanical trauma, vapor transmission characteristics similar to skin, and a physical barrier to bacteria. These membranes facilitate a moist wound environment with low bacterial density. They are commonly placed on clean superficial wounds while awaiting epithelialization. These membranes are mostly occlusive; therefore, they must be used with caution if wounds are not clearly clean and superficial. If an occlusive membrane is placed over devitalized tissue, submembrane purulence can occur with subsequent local and systemic sepsis.

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