Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wound Gel Q & A

What are the benefits of using wound gel?

Wound gel is seen as an essential component in helping healthy tissue develop, as well as allowing the body to naturally debride the wound tissue. Debriding happens when the body is able to slough off the necrotic tissue that forms on the edges or surface of the wound. A dry wound surface cannot debride, resulting in slower healing, possible infections, and increasing chance of scarring and healing difficulties. Wound gel is not designed to act as an antibacterial compound, although some wound gels may have antibacterial or antimicrobial proprieties. Wound gels with silver are commonly used in this manner, but the silver is an antimicrobial factor, not a direct healing agent in these gels.

Are there benefits to using antimicrobial wound gels in some situations?

There are different wound gels that offer a range of antimicrobial or antibacterial agents. Wound gels with these additional compounds can be effective in many types of wound treatment. Typically wound gel contains very small amounts of these compounds, and therefore does not cause any complications with other medications or wound treatments. If the patient or individual has any types of allergic reactions to medications, carefully monitor the wound area and discontinue use if there are any signs of a reaction such as redness, swelling or rashes on the skin at the sight of the wound or the periwound skin.

Do wounds need to be cleaned before applying wound gel?

It is important to avoid using wound gel on wounds that contain debris, material and fibers since these can be sources of contamination, bacteria and pathogens. Rinse the wound with warm water if a saline solution is not available, until the wound is clean and free from any foreign objects. Even when no visible debris is present, rinsing before using wound gel is recommended for most wounds. If clean water or saline solution is not available, wound gel can also be used as a cleaning agent. Apply a generous amount of wound gel to the area, then remove using gauze or allow to drain out of the wound. This is not the recommended use of the product but it is possible in first aid situations where other wound cleaning options are not available.

Can wound gels be used on bleeding wounds?

Wound gels are appropriate for use on low to moderate exudate wounds, but not for high exudate wounds or wounds were bleeding is occurring. This is because the wound gel will wash off with the high moisture levels of liquids produced by the body, and will simply be ineffective. Since wound gel is designed to help keep moisture against the wound, high exudate and bleeding wounds don't need additional hydration, they need dressings that hold the moisture in place and prevent draining. In these situations, a more suitable dressing, one designed to hold moisture, is a better option. Bleeding wounds need to be treated before applying any dressing and require immediate medical attention.

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