A simplified wound dressing plan, along with a decision-tree tool for wound management, can help nurses treating patients over the age 85, a new study finds.

South Australia investigators audited existing wound treatments in residential aged care homes, then educated staff on wounds, products and wound management protocols. In the final stage, they evaluated new wound care products and protocol for skin tears and wounds assessed by a nurse practitioner.

A total of 93 residents from two residential facilities participated in the study. Researchers identified 178 wounds, of which 121 were considered eligible for treatment in the new protocol. The majority of residents were over 85 years old with a skin tear. Most wounds were suitable for a simplified dressing selection regimen, researchers said.

Ultimately, a simplified wound dressing process was effective and saved nursing time, concluded the team led by Tabatha Rando, MNP, author and nurse practitioner in wound management at the Wound Management Innovation Cooperative Research Centre in Clovelly Park.

Results appeared in the Journal of Wound Care in August.