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Wound Management

Wound dressings

Authors: Christian Kaare Paaskesen, Med. Stud., Hasan Gökcer. Tekin, MD & Bjørn Thomas Crewe, Consultant plastic surgeon and wound specialist

Throughout this chapter, some key words will be color-coded to be paired with a developed pocket card. (you can download the pocket-card in the bottom of this page)(Still in development, estimated ready January 2021)


A piece of material used to cover, compress and/or protect a wound while promoting healing.


The techniques for treating wounds have been in development since earlier than 2000 B.C. Both dry and moist wound care have been widely accepted until the 1960s, where Winter and Hintman, finally concluded that majority of wounds have ideal healing conditions when kept moist. Since then, intensive research and development have resulted in a vast variety of modern wound dressings.


Wound dressings may have multiple functionalities:

  • Autolytic or mechanical debridement
  • Antiseptic abilities and thereby cleansing of bacterial colonization
  • Absorbing exudates to avoid maceration of surrounding skin
  • Provide moisture if the wound bed is dry
  • Protection from external trauma/contamination

When choosing a contact layer dressing two main factors must be taken into consideration:

  • Wound bed assessment
    • Re-epithelializing
    • Granulating
    • Sloughy
    • Critcially colonized/infected
    • Necrotic
    • Cavity wound
  • Moisture assessment
    • Dry wounds (little to no fluid on wound dressing)
    • Wet wounds (maceration of surrounding skin)