Ask the treatment expert ... about basic wound care principles

Rosalyn Jordan, RN, BSN, MSc, CWOCN, WCC
Rosalyn Jordan, RN, BSN, MSc, CWOCN, WCC

I would like to thank each of you for reading this wound care column. As a foundation to heading into the rest of 2015, here is a review of the basic wound care principles. 

- Create a moist wound bed. Use dressings that provide the correct amount of moisture to the wound bed. If the wound bed is dry, a wound dressing that provides more moisture would allow for the best healing.

- Eliminate dead space. Loosely pack any tunneling, sinus tract, and/or undermining with moist packing dressings such as gauze.

- Use dressing to minimize trauma to the wound bed. Dressings that require fewer changes and offer pain-free removal should be considered.

- Manage exudate. Assess the amount of drainage. To accommodate the drainage, use a dressing that will absorb the amount of exudate of the wound to provide a moisture balance for the wound bed.

- Use non-toxic wound cleansers. It's best to use normal saline or commercial cleansers that have no toxic agents to cleanse tissue in the wound bed.

- Protect surrounding skin and tissue. Ensure that the dressing and measures to secure the dressing do not cause injury to the tissue or create pain upon removal.

- Provide thermal insulation. Keep the wound bed covered to decrease the risk of the wound bed cooling.

- Minimize trauma to the wound bed. Assess for pain and bleeding upon removal of the dressing.

- Remove necrotic tissue and debris from the wound bed. Many dressings will provide autolytic debridement if this is the debridement of choice.

Following these simple guidelines will help you make 2015 a great wound healing year.