The increasing number and complexity of dressings available to nurses, combined with a lack of guidelines for their use with children, leaves many practitioners at a loss when it comes to selecting dressings for chronic wounds.
In order to make the most appropriate choice of dressing, nurses need to understand the four key areas which must be addressed when treating a wound: the psychological and emotional impact of the wound on the child and parents; the cause of the wound; underlying factors contributing to delayed healing; and the maintenance of an ideal wound environment.
This article will examine the first three of these, before describing in detail the types of dressings available, and their ability to promote an ideal environment for wound healing.
After reading this article you should be able to:
Describe how an holistic approach to wound care can have a positive effect on healing.
Outline the key features of an ideal wound healing environment.
Describe the main features of major classes of dressings.
Critically review the selection of appropriate dressings and relate these to the type of wound involved, goals of therapy and characteristics of the child.
Primary Health Care. 12, 5, 41-47. doi: 10.7748/phc2002.06.12.5.41.c383
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