Foam dressings have become the predominant absorbent wound dressing. They can be designed to absorb varying amounts of exudate without sacrificing the benefits of a moist wound healing environment. Many foam dressing products are semi-occlusive systems composed of a polyurethane foam and an outer, semi-permeable film of polyurethane. Foam dressings have demonstrated many desirable characteristics to facilitate wound healing. They provide thermal insulation, do not shed fibers or particles, are easily cut or shaped, and help maintain a moist wound environment. They are intended to be water permeable, non-adherent, light-weight, and comfortable. The compressed foam cells in contact with the wound absorb wound exudate and facilitate capillary action, discouraging periwound maceration.
The use of polyurethane foam wound dressings with a high-compression bandage system is considered an accepted form of treatment of venous leg ulcers. The efficacy of a foam wound dressing used with a compression bandage is related to how well the dressing manages wound exudate and how well the bandage holds in place to provide continued effective compression and patient adherence to the recommended protocol.
Patients were in the study for a median of 30 days (23-32 day range) in which they wore the dressing under compression for a median of 7 days (1-10 days range). Eighty-three percent (34/41, 83%) of the dressings were under compression for 7 or 8 days. All wounds had moderate to severe levels of exudate and 60% had mild to moderate periwound maceration.
At the initial visits, the median wound area was 5.11 cm2 . The median percent wound area change observed in this study at the final visit relative to the initial visit was 37% reduction, with 80% of the patients showing a wound reduction, half of which showed at least 50% reduction (one subject healed). Six patients showed improvement in periwound maceration with 90% of patients with no macerated skin by the last study visit.
Among the 41 dressing change assessments completed, despite the high levels of drainage, the dressing maintained a moist environment and did not cause damage to wound bed, periwound skin or surrounding tissue.