CS14-048 A close look at the autolytic debridement properties and moist wound management activity of medical grade honey dressings

Katie Schmidt, BSN, RN, CWCN, Ostomy Services, Health First, Cape Canaveral Hospital, Cocoa Beach, FL
Background:  Honey has been used to treat wounds since ancient times. Leptospermum Honey dressings are modern clinical “reincarnations” of an age old product.  Clinical evidence is emerging that such dressings can be used to as an economical debrider when sharp debridement or other methods are not reasonable choices for patient care. In our community hospital and in the physician’s office we see a diverse array of wounds. Often the individual and/or the wound are not a candidate for sharp debridement.  The purpose of this case series was to evaluate the efficacy of 100% Manuka honey based dressings that has been made available for evaluation in our clinic.

Methods: 10 patients were sequentially identified with wounds that needed debridement, but not of the sharp kind, per clinician determination.  Honey gel was applied to those wounds with minimal to moderate drainage while the contact layer was used if the wounds were of a more shallow nature with any type of drainage.  In both cases, appropriate secondary dressings were used, with a preference for superabsorbent dressings* when suited to the wound topography.  Wound assessment included size measurements, photographing, and visual determination of percentages of necrotic tissue versus granulation tissue.

 Results and Conclusion:  Wound sizes on average decreased over time, though in some cases, as is true sometimes with autolytic debridement, the wound sizes increased initially.  On average, the honey dressings effectively reduced the level of necrotic tissue.   The differing rates of autolytic debridement were seen to be influenced by the age and type of wound along with the patient’s general medical condition.  We concluded that that the use of these two types of honey dressings provides an important choice for non sharp debridement.  The superabsorbent secondary dressing was particularly suited to the absorption of large exudates quantities typically seen with honey use.