Journal of Community Nursing - page 72

72 JCN
2013,Vol 27, No 4
WOUND CARE
and alginates, some of which offer
high absorption. Manufacturers
of superabsorbent dressings tend
to claim that they provide greater
absorption and retention than
traditional absorbent dressings and
result in a reduction in dressing
changes. However, the results of this
evaluation suggest that absorption
beyond 100mls in a 10x22cm dressing
confers no additional benefit.
The authors found that most
of the clinicians in this evaluation
did not consider increased wear
time to be a key factor — highly
exuding wounds are often observed
daily and so dressing changes are
not predominantly determined by
dressings reaching their capacity.
Perhaps a greater consideration than
absorption capacity is retention of
wound fluid, especially under pressure.
CONCLUSION
Dressings that provide both high
absorption capacity and retention
rates offer the clinician a safe and cost-
effective tool to combat the negative
effects of exudate on the wound and
periwound skin. They also help to
improve quality of life for the patient
and their carers by minimising the
negative psychosocial impact of high
exudate volumes (Lloyd-Jones, 2012).
But, how do clinicians differentiate
between these superabsorbent
dressings, especially as, based on other
dressing categories, it is safe to assume
that this category of dressings will
continue to expand? In the authors’
opinion, absorption capacity, retention
rates and cost should all be key
differentiators and have found that
KerraMax Care, with its mid-range
absorption capacity, retention rate and
price, meets these criteria.
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KEY POINTS
Exudate is an essential
component of the normal wound
healing process and helps create
a moist wound environment.
Exudate contains growth factors,
nutrients, cytokines, matrix
metallaproteinases (MMPs)
and white cells, which stimulate
healing.
Superabsorbent dressings have
a high absorption capacity to
help combat the negative effects
of exudate on the wound and
periwound skin.
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