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Using Abdominal Pads for Wound Care

Using Abdominal Pads for Wound Care
Kevin Cleary

Reviewed by Christine Kijek, Registered Colorectal Nurse, on August 29, 2022

Wound care management is all about managing the healing process. Our first priority after an injury or surgery is obviously, healing. Wound care that is a bit advanced may need a different approach. Sometimes slapping a Band-Aid on something is not exactly the best way to approach recovery from a wound or surgical incision. During the recovery process wound exudate can be an issue and dealing with it sometimes requires a sterile abdominal pad.

What is an ABD Pad?

Abdominal Pads (also known as ABD pads) are non-woven thick absorbent-dressing to manage not only the abdominal wounds but all the heavily draining wounds. ABD wound dressing contains a thick layer of cellulose that absorbs and disperses the fluid by sealing-off the affected site area. The ABD gauze pads are constructed with the hydrophobic back with sealed edges, to prevent strikethrough.

Types of Abdominal Pads For Wounds:

ABD pads remove excretions from wounds promoting healing in a variety of applications and are available in sterile and non-sterile versions. These pads can be used in conjunction with antibiotic ointments to expedite healing and prevent infection.


How does ABD Pad Dressing work?

An abdominal gauze pad absorbs the discharge into an inner core and helps keep wounds dry. By sealing off the wound area, the abdominal dressing helps protect the wound from infections and oozing.

ABD wound pads are designed to be used in the following ways-

  • For normal exudate: primary wound contact layer dressing
  • For heavy exudate: secondary dressing on top of a primary dressing

An ABD pad can be used as a primary dressing for scrapes or a wound that is superficial.

As a secondary dressing, the ABD pad is applied over a primary dressing, such as an alginate or hydrofiber dressing. Medical tapes can be used to keep the abdominal dressing securely in place.

A moist wound bed will heal faster, especially for large wounds and scrapes. Creating the best possible healing environment can be improved through the use of these abdominal pads, which can help seal out contaminants while absorbing fluid and allowing the healing process to continue unfettered.

How to Choose the Right Abdominal Gauze Pad?

To decide which ABD pad is best for you, you need to understand the type of wound and its severity based on the following points:

1. Exudate vs. Transudate

Wounds that ooze or expel fluids may seem one and the same, but there is a subtle difference. The fluid rich in cells, cellular debris, and proteins is an exudate, whereas clear fluid that is relatively devoid of proteins and cells is considered transudate. These terms are used to define this discharge, not the ailment or injury causing them, but often they are used in association with pleural effusions. No matter what you are dealing with, this excess fluid must be safely removed from the wound bed to improve healing time. Maximum absorbency is crucial in removing exudate from a wound or incision. Look for an abdominal pad that offers all four edges that are sealed to prevent any lint residue and leakage, such as Covidien Dermecea Non-Sterile Abdominal Pads and Medtronic Covidien Curity Abdominal Pad. When bacteria or other germs enter a wound, the risk of infection is greatest. Keeping foreign material away from the wound bed is critical for avoiding infection. Exudate fluid is usually produced by inflammation, whereas transudate fluid is produced due to a change in something, such as hydrostatic pressure, which causes inflammation. Removing this discharge and keeping the wound bed free from bacteria and germs will help expedite healing.

2. Level of Exudate

Many folks may feel that any sterile pad can do the trick, but that is not exactly accurate. Depending on the type of wound, you may require a larger, more absorbent wound dressing. For those who suffer from heavy exudate, a moisture barrier may be necessary to prevent leakage. For instance, the Medline Extra Absorbent Abdominal Pad incorporates a hydrophobic backing to prevent fluid strike-through. Talk about avoiding any embarrassing or unhealthy situations!! Infection control and peace of mind in one package are brilliant!! Many of these abominable pads utilize a cellulose center, with a non-woven exterior to wick away fluid that may seep from recovering wounds. These cellulose fibers allow any exudate/transudate fluid to disperse throughout the pad. Simply find the correct size you need and secure it in place with a wrap. Abdominal pads are perfect for large trauma sites, abdominal wounds, or incisions and as a secondary dressing over wounds that discharge fluid.

Best Abdominal Wound Dressing Features

  • Soft and non-woven contact layer
  • Different exudate level options from moderate to heavy are available.
  • Highly absorbent material to absorb excess fluid
  • Sealed from the edges to prevent linting and leakage
  • For large surgeries and trauma sites
  • Made for heavily exuding wounds
  •  Fewer dressing changes required
  • Prevents skin maceration
  • Padding for pressure points and cushioning

Where to buy Abdominal Pads Online?

HPFY carries an extensive range of abdominal pads for wound management from moderate to heavy exudate levels. Our top-selling manufacturers are Medline, Medtronic Covidien, Dukal Corporation, Dumex/Derma Sciences, Dynarex Corporation, and many more. Speed up your wound’s healing process with proper care and safety with HPFY now!


Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.

In 2006, ...

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