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Doctors say Severe Pressure Sore Wounds Should be Kept Moist
By Nursing Home Law Center
The sight of a severe pressure sore wound can be upsetting for both doctor and patient. Stage 3 and 4 pressure sores are hard to treat, and in some cases may cause great discomfort and pain. Fortunately for patients, doctors have many sophisticated wound dressings at their disposal, several of which are relatively pain-free.
A study from the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine indicates that when it comes to treating pressure sore wounds, an “occlusive dressing” might be a patient’s best option. Occlusive dressings are air - and water - tight covers that retain some of the wound’s original moisture. Unlike traditional gauze dressings, which tend to cause pain when removed, occlusive dressings rarely cause secondary trauma.
“In both acute and chronic wounds, the principal function of a wound dressing is to provide a moist healing environment”, the study says. “Removal of [wound dressings] by aggressive scrubbing or drying has been shown to be detrimental”.
The study recommends that doctors not change occlusive dressings until they leak, a period typically lasting several days to three weeks. The study also indicates that saline-soaked gauze may be an acceptable alternative to occlusive dressings, as long as the gauze is not allowed to dry.
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