For effective wound care, nurses need to understand the healing process as well as have knowledge of the types of gauze used in wound care. Choosing the right dressing for each stage of wound progression plays a very important role in the healing process, especially in chronic wounds.
Currently, on the market, there are many different types of bandages and gauze used in the treatment and care of wounds. This article would like to introduce an overview of some groups of dressings and their applications.
1. Hydrocolloid gauze
These swabs are made up of gelatin, pectin, polysaccharides or sodium carboxymethylcellulose and come in various forms such as powder, gel or pads. A special feature of this type of gauze is that when in contact with the wound, the components of the gauze will gel with the wound fluid to help maintain a moist environment suitable for the healing process and prevent the growth of microorganisms. Hydrocolloid gauze is used for clean, dry, low-fluid, medium-depth wounds such as scrapes, or chronic wounds in the granulation and epidermal stage. Do not use hydrocolloid gauze for wounds with a lot of discharge, burns, infected wounds, thick, deep, many nooks and crannies.
2. Alginate gauze
Alginate gauze is made from soft, non-woven calcium alginate fibers extracted from brown seaweed and comes in various forms such as pieces or fibers. This type of gauze has the ability to absorb fluid 15-20 times the weight of gauze. When in contact with wound fluid, gauze forms a bio-gel film that helps maintain a moist environment and stimulates granulation tissue growth, helping the wound heal faster. Alginate gauze is used for chronic, exudative wounds. Do not use gauze for dry, low-fluid wounds, surgical implant wounds, 3rd degree burns.
3. Foam gauze (foam gauze)
Sponge gauze is mostly composed of hydrophilic polyurethane, which has a high ability to absorb and retain fluid. It can be impregnated or coated with other materials depending on the intended use. This type of gauze does not stick to the wound, easy to remove without pain. Styrofoam gauze is usually used for chronic, copious, medium-depth wounds, not for dry, low-fluid, third-degree burns.
4. Gauze made from non-woven fabrics
Non-woven gauze is made from synthetic fibers (cotton, polyester or man-made fibers) pressed together, which makes them more absorbent and absorbent than woven fabrics. Gauze is used for shallow, dry, low-fluid wounds. When changing gauze, you should use physiological saline to wet the gauze before removing it, to avoid tissue damage due to gauze sticking to the wound.
5. Gel gauze
The gel fibers are composed of sodium carboxymethycellulose, which has the ability to hold and control wound fluid and remove infected and necrotic tissues. Wound fluid, when absorbed into the gauze, will form a gel that helps maintain a moist environment, creating conditions for granulation tissue to grow, helping the healing process to take place faster. This type of gauze is used for both acute and chronic wounds, burns, ulcers, … Do not use if the patient is allergic to the components of the gauze.
6. Hydrogel gauze
Hydrogel gauze helps to relieve pain, maintain a moist environment for the wound, and promote granulation and epidermalization. This type of gauze is used for low-fluidity wounds, infected wounds, minor burns, scratches, etc. Do not use gauze for wounds with a lot of fluid because the gauze itself contains a certain amount of water, so the ability to Absorbent capacity of gauze is not high.
7. Collagen gauze
Collagen gauze comes in many different forms such as pads, powders, gels extracted from the skin and tissues of cattle, horses, porcupines, poultry or jellyfish. This type of gauze promotes the deposition and formation of new collagen fibers and granules in the wound, helping the healing process to take place faster. Collagen gauze is used for surgical, fluid, infectious, chronic, and tunnel wounds. Do not use gauze for dry wounds, 3rd degree burns and patients allergic to collagen.
8. Antibacterial gauze
Antibacterial gauze is a type of gauze impregnated with antibacterial substances such as silver, iodine, chlorhexidine, … This type of gauze has the ability to kill bacteria, help reduce or prevent infection. Antibacterial gauze is often used for long-lasting, infected, and fluid wounds. Do not use gauze in patients who are allergic to its components.