Silver Dressings for Wound Management

Silver Dressings for Wound ManagementSilver-containing dressings are widely used to assist with the management of infected wounds and those at risk of infection. Because of its well-known antibacterial properties, silver has been used for ages as a wound care product. Earlier, colloidal silver was formally approved by the U.S. FDA for use in the treatment of wounds. Now silver-based dressings are available in a variety of complexes including hydro fibers, hydrocolloids and foams. Silver wound dressings which contain silver or silver releasing compounds are used in the treatment of acute and chronic wound infections.

Several studies have shown that silver dressings are linked to benefits such as reduced time to wound healing, shorter hospital stays, reduced dressing change frequency, and less local pain during dressing change. The main purpose of these dressings is not to promote wound healing directly, but to reduce wound bio-burden, treat local infection and prevent systemic spread.

Silver wound dressings are of different types such as silver alginate dressings, hydrofibre silver dressings, silver nitrate dressings, nano crystalline silver dressings, silver plated nylon fiber dressings and others. They can be used on acute wounds, such as traumatic wounds (including burns) or surgical wounds, and chronic wounds with localized, spreading or systemic infection. The choice of an initial silver product will be partly determined by patient characteristics, product availability and product type.

Tips for Using Silver Based Dressings

Silver products should never replace basic wound management principles. A comprehensive assessment of the patient, wound and environment should be conducted before deciding whether a silver dressing is appropriate. Also, it is crucial to document the relevance for using a silver dressing in the patient’s healthcare records. Accurate documentation of the care provided is extremely important as it helps for later referrals, and to monitor whether the wound is healing. For wound clinics, the ideal option for better documentation would be a Wound EMR that features modules for nurses and physicians.

The silver dressing should be chosen on the basis of patient and wound needs such as exudate level, wound depth, need for conformability, odor control, ease of removal and safety. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding indications, contraindications, method of application, wound cleansing procedures, and use in patients undergoing MRI or radiotherapy.

Silver Wound Dressings Market Growth

According to the Global Forecast 2013 – 2019 from Transparency Market Research, the major factors that fuel the growth of the global silver wound dressings market in the coming years are the rising occurrence of chronic wounds including pressure sores, diabetic foot ulcers, and traumatic wounds; the increasing aging population; and rising disposable income. However, the soaring costs of development and the stagnant commercialization of advanced products are the chief factors that may restrain the growth of the market in forthcoming years.