The Principles and Practice of Moist Wound Healingg

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  • Topic: Wound healing, Wound, Chronic wound
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  • Published : October 3, 2012
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The Principles and Practice of Moist Wound Healing
Abstract
Caring for patients with wounds is commonly encountered in a nurse’s career in most health care settings, whether it is in neonatal, mental health, community, or aged care. In the past, wound dressings were created to absorb all exudate, believing that dry wounds will reduce the risk of infection. Within the last fifty years, the concept of moist wound therapy has become the most effective approach to wound care. Before treating any wound, it is important to discover the underlying cause and consider other possible factors that may impact on the healing process and deliver a systematic and rational approach towards wound care assessment. Nurses must have a basic understanding of wound physiology, and must develop a systemic approach when they are selecting the most safest and effective dressing product available. Moist wound healing plays a vital role by accelerating epithelialisation by providing an environment as natural as possibly by using various synthetic wound care products The role and responsibility of the nurse and other members of the health care team have an ongoing duty to ensure that the basic principles and practice of moist wound healing are in place before treating any patients presenting wounds.

Miryana Knezevic

Introduction
Caring for patients with wounds is commonly encountered in a nurse’s career in most health care settings, whether it is in neonatal, mental health, community, or aged care (Bale & Jones, 2006, p.ix). A wound is defined as a type of injury to the body’s integumentary system and can be categorised as either open or closed depending on the cause; whether it has occurred from a physical injury, a surgical incision, or from a lack of blood supply (Dealey & Cameron, 2008, p.68).

In the past, wound dressings were created to absorb all exudate, believing that dry wounds will reduce the risk of infection (Benbow, 2008, p.s4). Within the last fifty years, the concept of moist wound therapy has become the most effective approach to wound care (Bale & Jones, 2006, p.55), and this concept has surpassed the traditional use of dry gauze dressings by increasing

the rate of cell re-epithelialisation, healthy tissue growth and healing time (Benbow, 2008, p.s4).

It is important for nurses who are dealing with wounds to understand the underlying physiology of wound repair, recognise the different healing stages, and apply the basic principles of moist wound management (Dealey & Cameron, 2008, p.68). Without this knowledge and ability, the body will suffer and be at risk of exposure to haemorrhage or infection (Slater, 2008, p.s13).

Basic Principles
Before treating any wound, it is important to discover the underlying cause and consider other possible factors that may impact on the healing process (Farrell, 2005, p.1667). After selecting the most appropriate moist wound care products, a care plan should be established to monitor the wound, and by documenting any progress (Brown & Edwards, 2008, p.226-227). Complications due to poor wound care management may occur from failing to practice any of these basic principles of wound healing shown in Table 1.

Assessment
Delivering a systematic and adopting a rational approach towards wound care assessment requires gaining specific information which includes; gaining a full wound history, performing a complete physical examination, and especially by direct observation (Farrell, 2005, p.1667). The cause of the wound should be identified in each patient during assessment (Brown & Edwards, 2008, p.223). Some examples of the main causes of wounds are shown in Table 2.

The first part of the assessment involves identifying the underlying cause/s, and if the patient may need any other treatment e.g. immediate pain relief (Dealey & Cameron, 2008, p.67). It is essential to note the location of the wound as well to determine the aetiology, e.g. diabetic...
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