Frequently Asked Questions on Antimicrobial Dressings

What are Antimicrobial Dressings?
Antimicrobial dressings refer to wound dressings which have an antiseptic agent incorporated and does not include products/dressings which incorporate antibiotics. They protect against bacteria or reduce bacterial load in a wound.
What are the features of Antimicrobial Dressings?
- Provide a balanced environment
- Employ a unique mode of action
- Effective against prevalent bacteria
- Effective up to seven days
- Cost Effective
- Have no known resistance
What are the benefits of Antimicrobial Dressings?
- Supports a moist and bactericidal environment
- Reduce the risk of infection
What are the types of Antimicrobial Dressings?
Most research carried out on honey has focused on the role of manuka honey, which, like most honeys, releases hydrogen peroxide but is also believed to have an additional antimicrobial agent known as the unique manuka factor (UMF). It is widely claimed that honey is able to deodorise and debride wounds and these additional properties may be particularly beneficial in infected wounds. There are no standardised protocols for the frequency with which honey should be applied and the type of secondary dressing that should be used.

This is a broad spectrum antimicrobial, effective against a range of aerobic, anaerobic, gram positive and gram negative bacteria as well as filamentous fungi and viruses; no resistant strains have been discovered. Despite the absence of resistance in clinical practice, it has been possible to produce resistance in the laboratory setting by using sub-therapeutic levels of silver.

Iodine products can cause thyroid disruption. If patients have a history of a thyroid disorder, their thyroid function should be checked before and while using the product. Iodine dressings have a maximum dosage that may be used at any one time and a maximum length of time over which they can be used. The dressing changes colour from deep yellow to white as the iodine is used, clearly showing when the antimicrobial activity is exhausted.
What is the application of Antimicrobial Dressings?
Antimicrobial Dressings are applied directly to the wound. Next, a secondary dressing (such as rolled gauze) is applied and secured with a retention dressing (such as Surgilast or Tubifast).