Clinically Effective Wound Management Products

Originally dressings were seen merely as coverings which could provide some protection to the wound. The products currently available are much more sophisticated. There are so many products to choose from that it can cause considerable confusion. There is no single perfect dressing but an 'identikit' list of criteria can be established. The requirements of a specific wound may not need all of the criteria listed. Selection can be assisted if the nurse has:

• assessed the wound and identified the specific objectives for the wound at that time;

• an understanding of what can be reasonably expected from a dressing;

• access to information regarding the characteristics and effectiveness of the range of dressings available to the nurse.

The characteristics of a clinically effective wound management product will be considered below. Dressings are generally considered in relation to their performance and their handling qualities. Performance relates to their ability to promote healing.

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