Q: What are the benefits of using multi-layer foam dressings to prevent injury and ulcers?
A: Dr. Woo: There is convincing data that suggest this is good strategy and should be adopted. We use the dressing prophylactically for bony prominences for patients at risk for developing pressure injuries.
For pressure-injury prevention, it’s not a single intervention approach but a bundled approach — and you can add multi-layer foam dressing to the bundle cost-effectively.
Patients and families can do this at home. It doesn’t require specialized individuals. Wound prevention is always key because once a wound develops, it’s expensive to manage.
We have yet to address the benefits of regulating the microclimate, especially in ICU settings. I think that foam dressing is not only about pressure shear; it also has value in regulating the microclimate, including wicking away excess fluid and facilitating ventilation.
A. Ms. Sullivan: Multi-layer foam dressings help disperse pressure in the sacral area. Using the dressing along with a pressure injury prevention protocol helps prevent or treat patients’ skin breakdown and gives clinicians another tool to prevent and treat pressure injuries.
Kevin Woo, PhD, RN, NSWOC, FAPWCA, is associate professor, Queen’s University, School of Nursing, School of Rehabilitation Therapy in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. He also is an Advanced Wound Consultant, West Park Health Center in Toronto, Ontario. He is a clinical consultant to Medline Industries.
Jerra-Marie Sullivan, RN, MSN, CWOCN, is Skin Care/Diabetes program director, Beverly Hospital, Beverly, Massachusetts, which is a member of Lahey Health. A WOC nurse for over 35 years, Sullivan has worked in acute care, home care, wound centers and long-term care. She is a clinical consultant to Medline Industries.