Gauze used to care for burns should achieve the following purposes:
– Protect, prevent water, microorganisms from entering, limit the risk of infection of the burn.
– Absorbs fluid well, creating a moist environment to promote wound healing.
– Do not stick gauze on the burn, do not cause secondary damage.
– Allows the injured area to move and function normally.
– Reduce pain, swelling, inflammation.
– Convenient to use, change the gauze painless.
– Soft, comfortable, no skin irritation.
– Supply oxygen to the wound or help the gas exchange process between the wound and the environment take place normally.
– Helps retain heat.
Because the nature and characteristics of the burn change over time, in each different stage, the doctor will have different indications to use gauze depending on the actual burn condition. The article would like to share some advantages and disadvantages of the types of gauze commonly used in burn care as follows:
1. Cotton gauze
This is a type of gauze being used commonly today in burn care because of its low cost, non-irritating to the skin, but the ability to cover and absorb fluid well. However, this type of gauze has the disadvantage that it does not create a humid environment, is not able to prevent water and microorganisms from entering the interior, the gauze is often stuck to the wound, so the patient is prone to pain and discomfort. secondary lesions appear each time the gauze is changed.
2. Foam gauze
Foam gauze is a porous gauze, suitable for use on first- and second-degree burns. The gauze has a semi-permeable membrane that does not allow water and microorganisms from the outside to penetrate inside but still allows gas exchange to occur. out normal. Besides, gauze also has the ability to absorb fluid well, provide a moist environment, help the healing process take place quickly and reduce the number of gauze changes. Not only that, the gauze has a soft, elastic, flexible foam that does not stick to the burn, helping the patient feel comfortable and pain-free every time the gauze is changed.
3. Alginate gauze
Alginate gauze is extracted from seaweed, capable of forming a gel when in contact with burn fluid by exchanging calcium ions of gauze with sodium ions in burn fluid. A gel layer is formed and calcium ions are released, providing a moist environment for the burn, promoting the growth of fibroblasts and helping to stop bleeding in small capillaries, so that the healing process takes place faster. Besides, the gel layer also hinders the gas exchange of the burn with the outside environment, so if using Alginate gauze for a long time, it will stimulate the burn to increase the production of new capillaries to help the burn heal quickly. , this property is only suitable for minor burns, 1st, 2nd degree.
In severe burns, as deep as 3rd degree and above, the demand for oxygen is high, so this property becomes a barrier to the healing process. Another reason that Alginate gauze is not suitable for use on deep burns is the risk of the gauze sticking to the burn surface, blood vessels, or exposed bone from the burn. Moreover, because Aliginate gauze absorbs fluid well and has the ability to exchange ions with burn fluid, when used for severe burns, it will make the patient’s dehydration and electrolyte status worse.
4. Hydrogel gauze
It is a hydrophilic gauze made from synthetic polymers. Thanks to the large amount of water in the gauze (70-90% of the weight of the gauze), this type of gauze helps to cool the burn quickly and create a moist environment suitable for granulation and epithelialization to take place. Besides, Hydrogel gauze does not stick to the wound, so it is easy to remove without pain for the patient. The disadvantage of Hydrogel gauze is that its ability to absorb fluid is not good, it is not breathable, so it is not suitable for large and deep burns such as third-degree burns.
5. Hydrocolloid gauze
Hydrocolloid gauze consists of two layers, an adhesive layer and a waterproof layer. This type of gauze is formed by the combination of gel-forming substances such as carboxymethylcellulose, gelatin and pectin with elastic and colloidal materials. Hydrocolloid gauze allows steam from the inside to escape but does not allow microorganisms from the outside to enter. Not only that, this type of gauze is also capable of absorbing fluid, creating a suitable moist environment for the healing process and helping to remove pieces of dead cells, skin, and tissue each time the gauze is changed. Another advantage of this type of gauze is that it does not stick to the wound, so the removal process is easy and painless for the patient. The disadvantage is that the ability to absorb fluid is not high, it is not breathable, so it is not suitable for severe and deep burns such as 3rd degree burns.
6. Silver gauze
This type of gauze can be made from different materials impregnated with silver ions. The silver molecules in the gauze will be released slowly into the burn and attack the bacteria to help prevent infection from occurring. Not only that, silver gauze is also capable of absorbing fluid, helping the burn clean, creating a suitable moist environment to promote the healing process.
Because the nature and characteristics of burns change very quickly over time, the correct treatment and care of burns in the early stages plays an important role in the healing process of burns. Therefore, silver gauze is recommended to be used within the first 48 hours to help create a better environment for the healing process. Silver gauze is a good choice for deep burns, burns of unknown depth or superficial burns but with a large area.
However, this type of gauze also has some disadvantages such as a rather high cost, can cause stinging, allergies and not all patients can use it or every burn area needs to be used. doctor’s decision. Silver ions can cause the skin to turn black or dark in the area where the gauze is applied. However, these areas of darkening due to silver ions can be easily removed when washed with water.
A few notes when using silver gauze is that you should only wash the burn with sterile water before applying the gauze, not with physiological saline because chlorine ions in physiological saline can combine with ions. Silver reduces the concentration of silver ions on the burn surface.