Clinical management of complex wounds is essential to promote wound healing. Prolonged healing time may lead to longer and more costly hospitalizations and poorer patient outcomes. The removal of nonviable, necrotic tissue via debridement is vital to the healing process. One of the most common debridement techniques, in the United States, is the use of wet-to-dry dressings. There are no defined guidelines or protocols for the timing of dressing changes and subsceequent debridement. The purpose of this study was to perform a review of literature to determine the rationale for the use of wet-to-dry dressings, explore alternative time sequences of treatment, and to identify the risks and benefits for this methodology of debridement in an adult population with acute traumas. Inclusion criteria consisted of peer reviewed, English Language, research articles published within the last 5 years (2007-2012), adults with acute wounds treated by wet-to-dry dressing debridement. This review of literature was conducted using CINAHL and MEDLINE databases using the following search terms: Wound debridement, wet-to-dry dressing', timing, sequencing, schedul', standard', debridement, acute wound', and mechanical debridement. The review of literature yielded zero results meeting the search criteria therefore, a second review of literature was performed using the same search criteria but expanded to include articles published within the past 15 years (1997 -2012). The second review of literature also yielded zero results that met the search criteria. A lack of evidence supporting the use of wet-to-dry dressings for the purpose of debridement suggests that healthcare providers are following tradition rather than evidence based practices. Nurses and healthcare providers need education on best practices in wound care to advocate for their patients to ensure the best possible outcome. Further research on wound care modalities that are clinically efficient is needed.
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Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.)
College of Nursing
Dissertations, Academic -- Nursing;Nursing -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Villa, Katherine, "The use of wet-to-dry dressings for mechanical debridement" (2013). HIM 1990-2015. 1479.