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Clinical efficacy of dressings for treatment of heavily exuding chronic wounds

Authors Wiegand C, Tittelbach J, Hipler U, Elsner P

Received 29 January 2015

Accepted for publication 13 April 2015

Published 10 June 2015 Volume 2015:2 Pages 101—111


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Marco Romanelli

Cornelia Wiegand, Jörg Tittelbach, Uta-Christina Hipler, Peter Elsner

Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Jena, Jena, Germany

Abstract: The treatment of chronic ulcers is a complex issue and presents an increasing problem for caregivers everywhere. This is especially true in Germany, where more than 4 million chronic wounds are treated each year. Therapeutic decisions must be patient-centered and reflect wound etiology, localization, and healing status. The practice of using the same wound dressing during the entire healing period is no longer reasonable. Instead, multiple types of dressings may be needed for a single wound over its healing trajectory. Selection of the most appropriate dressing should be based on wound phase, depth, signs of infection, and level of exudate. Moisture balance is critical in wound care; dryness will hamper epithelial cell migration while excessive generation of fluid causes maceration at the wound margins. Hence, exudate management is a key issue in chronic wound therapy, particularly given that exudate from chronic wounds has a composition different from that of acute wound fluid. Several studies have shown that exudates from non-healing wounds contain significantly elevated levels of protease activity, increased formation of free radicals, and abundant amounts of proinflammatory cytokines, while concentrations of growth factors and protease inhibitors are markedly decreased. Application of dressings that remove and sequester excess amounts of wound fluid may not only help in restoring the correct balance of moisture, but also support the wound healing process by preventing tissue deterioration caused by abundant protease activity. Several types of dressings, such as hydrogels, hydrocolloids, alginates, hydrofibers, foams, and superabsorbent dressings, are reviewed here and evaluated with regard to their efficacy for highly exuding wounds.

Keywords: chronic wounds, exuding, dressings, clinical efficacy

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