A 4-layered superabsorbent dressing* versus the standard ABD pad in managing moderate to high exudate venous leg ulcers


Lead Presenter

Supporting Presenters

Rebecca Malcomb RN, Podiatry and Wound Care Nurse, Alexandria VA Wound Healing Center
Sean Craig RN, CWOCN, Alexandria VA Wound Healing Center

Presented At


Objective: Determine if Superabsorbent dressings, utilized within a wound healing algorithm, may offer the best possible clinical and financial outcome in excessively draining VLU's. Chronic wounds present a higher number of matrix metalloproteases (MMPs). While purposeful in normal wound healing, MMPs can prolong inflammation and delay healing when exudate remains in contact with the wound. Superabsorbents may offer a new standard in the control of exudate in VLU cases.

Method: In this 3 patient case series, VLU's that had stalled or failed conventional and advanced therapies , including collagen dressings and/or bioengineered skin equivalents, were selected for intervention. Cotton-filled pads, utilized with compression therapy for exudate control, were replaced with a 4-layered superabsorbent dressings using sodium polyacrylate. Patients then resumed their normal course through the treatment protocol.

Results: All patients were treated within the standard-of-care for VLU's. Patient #1 resolved 7 days after converting to a 4-layer superabsorbent, the second achieved 96.86%Δ, and the third achieved a 70%Δ. Exudate management, achieved through superior wicking and retention of drainage by the dressing, was evidenced by reduced peri-wound maceration and increased wound contraction.

Conclusion: Venous Leg Ulcers (VLU) are one of the most prevalent wound and are estimated to cost $14.9 billion annually in the Unites States. Their chronicity is largely due to challenges associated with large volumes of exudate. Our ability to mitigate exudate in VLU's will rest upon adherence to wound algorithms that include efficient exudate absorption and containment. These case presentations demonstrate that, despite failure of conventional and advanced therapies, a 4-layer superabsorbent dressing helped to achieve improved outcomes including rapid wound closure, reduced long term expenditures and improved patient quality of life.

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