CS14-053 Restoring Quality of Life for Patients with Infected Acute Wounds

Linda Benskin, PhD, RN, SRN (Ghana), CWCN, CWS, DAPWCA, Ferris Mfg. Corp., Austin, TX
Problem:  Patients with acute wounds may not seek medical assistance until their wounds are severely infected. Keeping the wounds clean, decreasing pain, and promoting quick healing so that the patient can resume normal activities are the primary goals for these patients. At our clinic in northern Ghana, we found that polymeric membrane dressings (PMDs) were able to meet these patient needs while decreasing clinician time required for appropriate wound management. This case series describes three otherwise healthy patients with significant acute wounds who had no treatment until severe infections motivated them to request care.

Rationale:  We wanted to meet patient goals to restore quality of life while using minimal clinic resources. Wounds managed with standard PMDs and PMD cavity filler in our clinic usually heal more quickly than those managed with other dressings. PMDs have a built-in non-toxic cleanser which loosens slough. This simplifies dressing changes because after initial cleaning/debriding, usually no further active cleansing is needed. The dressing change process is very quick and easy: just remove the used non-adherent dressing and apply a new one. Standard PMDs and PMD cavity filler also contain glycerin and a super-absorbent starch which pull fluid into the wound bed. Therefore, PMDs donate moisture to dry wounds while absorbing excess exudate. The components in PMDs, working together, can provide dramatic pain relief by inhibiting nociceptors.

Methodology:  After initial cleansing/debriding, an appropriate configuration of PMDs was applied to the exposed surfaces of the wound; dressings were changed when saturated. 

Results:  All three patients healed quickly without return of infection. Usually no cleansing was necessary at dressing changes.  

Conclusion: Management of these wounds with PMDs met patient goals: quick healing, freedom from infection, decreased pain and minimal inconvenience. In addition, with PMDs patients required far less time from our clinic staff through complete wound closure.