Moisture Management Essential for Wound Healing

Wound HealingOne of the advantages of a wound care EMR is the comprehensive documentation it offers. This is quite important in managing the wound healing process. It allows the care team to understand the nature of the wound, the treatment administered and the healing rate. With regard to wound management, moisture level is an important detail to document.

Why Wound Exudate Facilitates Healing

Moisture is essential for wound healing, though the sight of fluid or exudate coming out of the wound gives the feeling that it isn’t good. Moist environment facilitates better wound healing since the exudate protects the nerve endings, which reduces the pain, and the skin layers can repair faster which results in lesser scarring than you would find in dry wounds.

  • Moisture enables the keratinocyte cells to function more efficiently. Keratinocytes are major components making up the epidermis or skin. The communication between these and other wound healing cell types is essential for more complete wound closure. In moist wound environments keratinocytes are able to travel more freely through the wound surface. In dry environments, keratinocyte cells need to burrow beneath the wound bed for finding a moist environment to move about.
  • A moist environment also stimulates the synthesis of collagen. Collagen is the foundation of new tissue, which will ensure healing.
  • Moisture also facilitates the trapping of endogenous proteolytic enzymes within the wound, which enables them to carry out autolytic debridement that destroys necrotic tissue. This breaking down is essential for the body’s natural healing process to speed up.

Managing Moisture

The body emits fluid to facilitate healing which is why a watery and blood-mixed discharge is a sign of the body’s healing mechanisms working. Too much moisture is bad, but so is the lack of it or lower amounts of it. The former condition is an indication that the excess moisture must be removed to facilitate healing, while the latter is an indication that it is a dry wound and moisture generation must be facilitated for healing.

Moisture management is therefore an important element of healing. It is important to maintain the moisture balance. This involves assessing the exudate levels and then selecting the right dressing for either removing excess fluid or facilitating fluid generation in case of dry wounds. Modern wound care dressings come with great moisture management properties that promote quicker healing and autolytic debridement, encourage vapor transmission, function as a barrier for bacterial investment, and reduce pain.

Many of these products had their origin in the 1980s and 1990s when research was intense in this field and hydrogels, alginates, foams and other such wound dressing products were being developed. These dressings for balancing wound moisture became active ingredients of healing.

How Wound EMR Helps

An efficient EMR for wounds ensures accurate wound care documentation of the condition of the wound including the moisture levels. With its physician and nurse module, each member of the care team can report their observations, which leads to efficient decision making. This is important in choosing the right dressing for promoting moisture balance. The customized wound care EMR has templates built-in for recording the procedures carried out, which results in comprehensive documentation. Real time data such as healing rates is also integrated.