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CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
oedema, decreasing bacterial load,
improving local circulation, and
promoting debridement. The wound
is covered with a foam dressing and a
specialised transparent adhesive film,
then negative pressure is applied to
the wound for 22–24 hours each day.
This technique can be expensive, but
may be cost-effective for some chronic
Wound dressings help to provide an
optimal environment to facilitate wound
healing. However, it is important the
correct dressing is matched to the type
of wound. The dressings also need to
be used correctly. If the dressing is used
incorrectly, or is not appropriate for the
type of wound being managed, it can
do more harm than good. As more and
more wound dressings are developed
and introduced, it is important to
remember they are only part of the
wound care puzzle and other patient
factors impacting on wound healing
must also be considered.
1. Department of Veteran Affairs, Monash University Victorian
College of Pharmacy, Wound Foundation of Australia. Wound
care identification – Wound Identification Resource kit.
Canberra: Australian Government Department of Veteran
Affairs; 2014. At: www.dva.gov.au/about-dva/publications-
2. Swanson T. Modern dressings and technologies.
In: Swanson T, Asimus M, McGuiness B, eds. Wound
management for the advanced practitioner. Melbourne: IP
3. Weller C, Sussman G. Wound dressings update. Journal of
Pharmacy Practice and Research. 2006;36(4):318–24.
4. Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. Wound care in practice.
Canberra: Pharmaceutical Society of Australia; 2013.
5. Sansom L, ed. Australian pharmaceutical formulary and handbook.
22nd edn. Canberra: Pharmaceutical Society of Australia; 2012.
6. Broussard KC, Powers JG. Wound dressings: selecting the
most appropriate type. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2013;14(6).
7. Adis Medical Writers. Select appropriate wound dressings
by matching the properties of the dressing to the type of
wound. Drugs and Therapy Perspectives. 2014;30(6):213–7 .
8. Duncan G, Andrews S, McCulloch W. Issues in clinical
practice: Dressings 2. Primary Intention. 2002;10(2):83–6 .
1. When dressing a granulating wound,
the aim of the dressing is to:
a) Protect and insulate the new tissue, and
maintain a moist environment.
b) Absorb infected exudate and avoid
breaking down the surrounding skin.
c) Absorb excess exudate, maintain
a moist environment to promote
granulation and epithelial regeneration,
and to protect the wound.
d) Rehydrate and loose eschar and
promote autolytic debridement.
2. What needs to be taken into
consideration when selecting a
a) Matching the dressing absorbency with
the amount of exudate from the wound.
b) Picking a dressing that allows
implementation of the accompanying
wound management plan, e.g.
application of antibiotic therapy.
c) Ensuring the method of holding the
dressing to the wound does not cause
trauma or further damage when the
dressing is removed.
d) All of the above.
3. In relation to passive/inert dressings,
select the CORRECT statement:
a) Examples include foam dressings,
hydrocolloid dressings and hydrogel
b) These dressings meet few of the
properties of an ideal dressing.
c) They are very useful as primary
dressings, though their usefulness is
limited as a secondary dressing.
d) b) and c).
4. In relation to interactive and
bioactive dressings, select the
a) Interactive dressings promote normal
healing by promoting and maintaining
an optimally moist micro-environment
at the interface where the wound and
b) Bioactive dressings deliver substances,
or are made of materials, that actively
assist in wound healing.
c) Hydrogels are useful for minor burns such
as minor sunburn, simple scalds, and to
reduce discomfort and minimise scars
from chickenpox and shingles lesions.
d) Gelling fibre dressings provide the same
effects as alginate dressings, and can
be used interchangeably with alginate
5. In relation to anti-infective dressings
and specialty dressings, select the
a) Dressings containing zinc are used to
reduce the odour from chronic wounds.
b) Anti-infective dressings need to be used
with caution as exposure to antiseptics
can negatively affect the wound healing
c) Dressings containing iodine and silver
need to be used with caution due to
problems with resistance.
d) Removal of silicone-based dressings
causes trauma to the wound and fragile
skin surrounding the wound.
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