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Wound Care > Antimicrobial Dressings

Antimicrobial dressings are topical wound care products derived from agents such as silver, iodine, and polyhexethylene biguanide. These products combine active ingredients or physical characteristics of a particular active ingredient with a dressing or delivery system in an attempt to deliver an antimicrobial or antibacterial action to the wound. Silver dressings come in various delivery systems as well as shapes and sizes. The silver is activated from the dressing to the wound's surface based on the amount of exudate and bacteria in the wound. Silver dressings are available in foams, hydrocolloids, alginates, barrier layers, and charcoal cloth dressings. Silver dressings may be used with select topical and adjunctive therapies to do among other things decrease the bacterial load and manage exudate, and as a result optimize the appearance of the wound's granulation tissue.
Gauze products containing antibacterial properties have been designed to provide a barrier to specific organisms but also inhibit the growth of bacteria within the dressing, thus protecting the wound and potential spread of bacteria from the dressed site.
Antimicrobial dressings are intended for use in draining, exuding, and nonhealing wounds where protection from bacterial contamination is desired. These dressings may be used as primary or secondary dressings to manage various amounts of exudate (minimal, moderate, or heavy) for both acute and chronic wounds, including burns, surgical wounds, diabetic foot ulcers, pressure ulcers, and leg ulcers. Select dressings may also be used under compression.
Application: Clean the wound using conventional, non-oil-based techniques, and leave the wound moist. Cut the dressing to fit the wound size. Place either side of the dressing against the wound. Secure the dressing with a secondary dressing that will maintain the moist environment.