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New Wound Dressings Halve Change Frequency

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 31 Mar 2021
Novel foam dressings significantly reduce weekly wound care costs and improve patient’s treatment satisfaction in the community setting.

The Smith & Nephew (London, United Kingdom) Allevyn Life Foam Dressings are quadrilobe shaped, wide bordered, and with five flexible layers. The dressings include advanced Exulock lock-in technology, which provides effective exudate management and a high level of patient comfort and confidence. The dressings also contain the Exumask change indicator, which helps patients take ownership of their wounds and promote self-care, while simultaneously promoting less dressing changes.

Image: The Allevyn Life Foam Dressing (Photo courtesy of Smith & Nephew)
Image: The Allevyn Life Foam Dressing (Photo courtesy of Smith & Nephew)

In a recent observational study conducted at 24 primary care centers and six nursing homes in Spain, with most patients aged over 70 years, the switch to Allevyn Life Foam Dressings helped to significantly reduce dressing change frequency by 47.1%, and mean weekly dressing costs by 58.7%. At week four, Allevyn Life dressings performed better than previous dressings for seven assessed characteristics, and patient satisfaction also improved for overall wound care experience, exudate control, and comfort, all despite fewer nursing visits. The study was published in the January 2021 issue of Advances in Skin & Wound Care.

“Frequency of dressing changes is a key cost driver for nurse time, materials, and dressings in wound management, and is becoming even more important with the changes to care delivery we have seen driven by the pandemic,” said Cathy Dalene, senior vice president of global marketing at Smith+Nephew. “As this recent study has shown, Allevyn Life Dressings with their change indicator, extended wear time, and excellent exudate management can reduce costs and also help encourage patients to become more involved in their care.”

Exudate is the byproduct of vasodilation during the inflammatory stage, and in chronic wounds, it also contains proteolytic enzymes. Effective management of the exudate depends on the characteristics of the wound such as amount of exudate, location, and composition. When a patient is changing gauze four times a day due to exudate, it is more beneficial to use a foam dressing as changing dressings only when needed promotes healing and causes fewer traumas to the periwound area due to adhesives or maceration damage.

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