Global consensus on incision care and dressing selection in surgical wounds
Incision care has been an area of little focus in the past with a vast majority of patients still being treated the same way today as 50 years ago – with dressings that are stiff, low absorbing, skin damaging, painful to remove and do not allow the patient to shower. This is unacceptable and opinion needs to change to improve incision care in the world.
To reach consensus on good incision care protocols and desired incision dressing properties, six consensus meetings have been held across the world, involving a total of 48 surgeons from all specialties discussing incision care and dressing selection. The findings from these different consensus meetings are now summarized in the global report “Incision care and dressing selection in surgical wounds: Findings from a series of international meetings”, published in Wounds International on November, 2022.
The surgeons completely agreed that incision dressings play a vital role in protecting the wound during the healing process and in preventing surgical wound complications. Consensus around best practice in caring for incisional wounds was easily achieved.
On dressing change protocol the consensus was:
- Dressing wear time: extend the wear time wherever possible to minimise contamination, promote healing and save cost
- Do not engage in ritualistic dressing changes – change dressing only when it is clinically relevant to do so.
The international groups of surgeons also agreed on the properties of the ideal dressing. The following key dressing properties were agreed on:
The ideal surgical dressing needs to be:
- Flexible, to allow mobilisation an avoid pulling the skin
- Well-fixed to allow long wear times
- Absorbent, be able to handle exudate
- Skin protective, reduce the risk of blistering or irritation
- Waterproof, providing a good seal enabling the patient to shower
- Eliminate dead space between the dressing and the wound, to reduce the risk of blood pooling
“This summary consensus report is important if we are serious on our wish to change the world of incision care and play our part in improving patients outcomes”, says Magnus Enerbäck, Global Marketing Manager for incision dressings at Mölnlycke Health Care. “The awareness of the importance of good incision care needs to increase and the document will help to guide us in developing better products and engage in the right type of clinical research”
Find more information about incision care at our Surgical wound healing HUB