Tom Sharon
Drawing off fluids away from the wound without touching


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Every wound that is on its way to healing will produce a lot of drainage. It is important to draw the fluid away from the wound without touching it. That means no patting or wiping. A product called OpSite® forms a clear plastic barrier over the wound. The manufacturer engineered this film to allow fluid to flow through one way only. This allows absorption with gauze with no backflow, thus reducing the incidence of infection. The downside is that nurses often leave this dressing on too long, and it loses its effectiveness. This causes pooling of fluid and can lead to infection. The usual and customary practice is to leave the OpSite in place for three days while changing the outer gauze layer every eight hours. If the staff members want more information about this product, you can direct them to www.opsite.com

Another way of drawing off fluids while maintaining a proper wound environment is using moist gauze covered by a dry layer. This could be a problem if the dressing dries out because the gauze sticks to the wound, and the nurse in pulling it off rips out all the healing factors. To avoid drying, hydrogel is very useful. This water-based gel helps to maintain a moist environment. There are several brands to choose from, and it is important that the nurse selects one that will not liquefy at body temperature. Otherwise, it would be the same as using water, which leads to drying.

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