What Should One Know About Antimicrobial Dressings?

Antimicrobial dressings are a critical component for the management of patients with signs of the wound, and without these, patients are at the risk of delayed healing.

Fremont, CA: Astonishingly, there are more than 3,000 types of wound dressings existing in the market today, with each of them having their own properties. Among them, antimicrobial dressings greatly help in the prevention and management of infection. As they can directly interact with the micro-organisms, they are mostly recommended by clinicians. Specifically, the rise in antibiotic resistance is the driving medium for the increased development and use of topical antimicrobial dressings. And now, we are facing a crisis for treating infections as many pose antimicrobial resistance, especially when bacteria are concerned. Antimicrobial dressings can be used only when there are signs of local infection and possibilities for their spreading.

These antimicrobial dressings cannot be chosen just like that, and it requires several considerations like patient allergies, age, safety, acceptance, size of a wound for careful wound assessment. The different antimicrobial agents include silver, PHMB, honey of varying concentrations incorporated into dressings like alginates, hydrocolloids, hydrofibres, and hydrogels. Before applying an antimicrobial dressing, a full patient assessment is needed. And not all the dressings can be used in the same way for their various physical properties, such as the effectiveness of antimicrobial activity and their mode of action. This, in turn, requires data that would support the use of different dressings in terms of the antimicrobial efficacy. Sometimes, these antimicrobial dressings are used for patients with non-infected wounds who possess more chances of getting an infection.

The principle behind employing an antimicrobial is using it for the shortest time possible until the infection is completely treated. Because each dressing has a unique composition, it can be classified based on low, medium, and high levels of antimicrobial activity used for a particular wound. This would be interesting to explore the use of different antimicrobial dressings intermittently for short periods on a wound. Antimicrobial dressings should be closely monitored to prevent the development of antimicrobial resistance that suggests that these products need to be readily accessible. Currently, there is no method available to detect bacterial susceptibility to these agents.

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