Hydrogel Dressings

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Types of Hydrogel Wound Dressings

  • Sheet Dressing: Hydrogel sheet dressings have 3-D network of cross-linked hydrophilic polymers which swell on coming in contact with aqueous solutions. They are highly conformable and non-adherent to the wound bed. Sheet dressings can absorb different amounts of drainage, depending on their composition.
  • Amorphous Gel: Amorphous hydrogel dressings are composed of water, polymers and other ingredients with no shape. They provide moisture to the wound bed and help in maintaining a moist wound environment. The high moisture content of these dressings helps in rehydrating the wound tissue. Amorphous dressings require a secondary dressing to cover them.
  • Impregnated Gauze: Impregnated hydrogel dressings are designed by saturating gauze pads, gauze strips or sponge ropes with amorphous hydrogel. They can be simply laid on the wound bed or packed into the wound for proper healing. Impregnated dressings usually require a secondary dressing to cover them for full protection of the wound.

Features of Hydrogel Wound Dressings

Hydrogel wound dressings have the following features and properties:
  • Add moisture to the wound bed
  • Rehydrate the wound bed
  • Promote granulation and epithelialization
  • Facilitate autolytic debridement
  • Do not adhere to the wound bed to prevent tissue trauma
  • Cooling action soothes and relieves pain
  • Good MVTR
  • Fill in dead space
  • Easy application and atraumatic removal
  • Can be used on infected wounds
  • Can be used with topical medications

When to use Hydrogel Dressings?

Hydrogel wound dressings are recommended for use as primary dressings in the treatment of the following: 
  • Minimally draining partial and full-thickness wounds
  • Wounds with necrosis or slough
  • Stage II-IV pressure ulcers
  • Painful wounds
  • Deep wounds
  • Infected wounds
  • Minor burns
  • Donor sites
  • Dermal ulcers
  • Radiation dermatitis
  • Skin tears
  • Dry wounds
Hydrogel dressings should not be used for the treatment of wounds with heavy exudate.