Antimicrobial and antibacterial dressings are wound covers that alter the wound bed bioburden. Indicated to help reduce the risk of infection in partial- and full-thickness wounds, over percutaneous line sites and surgical incisions, or around tracheostomies. Available as sponges, impregnated woven gauzes, film dressings, absorptive products, island dressings, nylon fabric, non-adherent barriers, or a combination of materials. The ability to handle exudate depends on the characteristics and composition of the product.
Antimicrobial dressings deliver a sustained release of antimicrobial agents to the wound bed, which allows for a lower concentration of the agent and lowers the potential toxicity to host cells. These dressings typically get their antimicrobial activity from silver, iodine or polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB), and come in a variety of delivery systems, shapes, and sizes.
Silver dressings specifically are available in foams, hydrocolloids, alginates, barrier layers, and activated charcoal cloth dressings.
Antimicrobial dressings feature the following general performance properties and attributes:
• Provides broad range of antimicrobial or antibacterial activity
• Reduces/prevents infection
• Controls bacteria bioburden
Antimicrobial dressings are indicated for use as either a primary or secondary dressing in the treatment of draining, exuding, infected and non-healing wounds where protection from bacterial contamination is desired. This can include both acute and chronic wounds including burns, surgical wounds, diabetic foot ulcers, pressure ulcers, and leg ulcers. The amount of exudate that can be properly managed is dependent on the specific properties of the dressing. Certain dressings can be used under compression.
Antimicrobial dressings are contraindicated for use on patients with known sensitivities to any of the product components (silver, iodine). Silver dressings cannot be worn during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedures.
The following general warnings apply to antimicrobial dressings. Always refer to manufacturer information for Warnings and Precautions for a specific product.
May cause staining on wound and intact skin with silver dressings.
May cause stinging or sensitization.