Simplifying Dressing Selection: Category and Wound Depth

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making wound product selection decisions

by Cheryl Carver, LPN, WCC, CWCA, FACCWS, DAPWCA, CLTC

Whether you are a provider or a clinician, the challenge of wound dressing selection is ongoing. I have been an educator for quite some time now, and have found that the easiest way to teach dressing selection is by dressing category and wound depth.

First, do not get in the habit of learning every brand name. There are thousands of wound dressings on the market. I live and breathe wound care 24/7, and I do not know every dressing. However, I can select the appropriate dressing by category. I have provided an easy algorithm for you to help make dressing selection a bit simpler. It doesn’t matter where you work, you will know what to use. In many long-term care facilities that I speak at, I suggest a simple protocol such as this. This will help provide a structured wound management program.

Second, when selecting a dressing, you do not need to necessarily think about the wound type. Many times providers and clinicians over think this aspect when selecting a wound dressing. A wound is a break in the skin. Make it simple.

Our goals are pretty much the same with any wound type: wound bed preparation, optimizing moisture control, controlling bioburden, monitoring for signs and symptoms of infection, and wound healing progress.

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About the Author
Cheryl Carver is an independent wound educator and consultant. Carver's experience includes over a decade of hospital wound care and hyperbaric medicine. Carver single-handedly developed a comprehensive educational training manual for onboarding physicians and is the star of disease-specific educational video sessions accessible to employee providers and colleagues. Carver educates onboarding providers, in addition to bedside nurses in the numerous nursing homes across the country. Carver serves as a wound care certification committee member for the National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy, and is a board member of the Undersea Hyperbaric Medical Society Mid-West Chapter.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, Kestrel Health Information, Inc., its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.

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