Alginates have been around for quite some time. Experts suggest these are some of the most underused wound dressings. Perhaps that is because they are a little more complex than our usual wound dressings. Whatever the reason, the fact is alginate dressings are one of the best wound dressings available in the market.
Here are a few frequently asked questions about alginates to help you understand and use these dressings better.
Alginate dressings are non-woven lightweight fabrics derived from seaweed. It is used to cover or fill a variety of wound areas including those colonized heavily with pathogenic bacteria. These absorbent seaweed dressings can absorb moderate to large amounts of drainage and can also control minor bleeding.
Alginate wound dressings help maintain a moist healing environment and promote the formation of granulation tissue. Their ability to mold themselves into the shape of the wound ensures proper drainage absorption. Apparently, an individual alginate dressing can absorb up to 20 times their own weight.
Alginate dressings usually work as primary dressings. Since these are non-adherent, absorbent dressings, alginates do not need a secondary dressing to hold them in place and work effectively as a primary wound dressing. The way in which the alginate dressing interacts with the sodium and calcium ions of the wound exudate is determined by its intrinsic properties. This further determines the absorbent and adsorbent characteristics of the dressing.
There are different types of alginate dressings based on the shape and contents of the dressing.
Alginate wound dressings come in the form of sheets and ropes.
Based on the contents of the alginate wound dressing, there are two types of dressings, namely, CMC dressing and silver alginate dressing.
In the calcium alginate dressings, calcium ions of the dressing interact with sodium ions of the wound exudate. The water-insoluble calcium alginate dressing fibers are converted into water-soluble sodium alginate. As a result, a gel is formed which entraps and deactivates the bacteria that are carried by wound exudate into the dressing. The gel formed can be lifted off while removing the dressing or rinsed away with sterile saline water.
Alginate dressings should be changed every one to three days, or as directed by a healthcare provider. However, if there is excessive drainage or exudate, the dressing may need to be changed more frequently to prevent maceration and promote healing. On the other hand, if the wound is dry or has minimal drainage, the dressing can be left in place for a longer period of time.
Health Products For You offers a wide array of superior quality wound dressings that keep wounds free from infection and promote quick healing. HPFY's range of wound care supplies has been proven to be effective and efficient by our customers from all across the globe.
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Anushree Kothari, has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2016. She has a deep interest in human physiology and wellness and possess a passion and talent for guiding others through ...
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