Annals of Burns and Fire Disasters - vol. XIV - n. I - March 2001
ADVANTAGES OF AN ADHESIVE HYDROCELLULAR DRESSING IN THE TREATMENT OF PARTIAL-THICKNESS SKIN GRAFT DONOR SITES
Reali U.M., Martini L., Borgognoni L., Brandani P., Andriessen A.*
Plastic Surgery Division, Santa Maria Annunziata Hospital, University of Florence, Italy
SUMMARY. This study describes the effective performance of an adhesive hydrocellular dressing versus paraffin gauze in the treatment of skin graft donor sites. A total of 50 patients were included in the study, each patient acting as his/her own control. An equal half of the donor site was treated with the trial dressing; the other half was treated with paraffin gauze. Cost-effectiveness, time to complete epithelialization, ease of dressing application, ease of dressing removal, and pain upon removal were assessed. The trial dressing demonstrated a statistically significant faster healing time (p < 0.000001) and enhanced patient comfort, and was shown to be cost-effective.
The wounds created by skin grafting differ from other wounds in that they are a uniform wound model with regard to the edges of the wound, the wound bed, and the bacterial environment. Partial-thickness grafts are usually 300-375 [tm thick. As elements of epidermal tissue remain in the base of sebaceous glands and hair follicles, the healing time with this method ranges from 10 to 14 days. Donor sites dressed with traditional dressings have a healing time ranging from 7 to 12 days. Partial-thickness skin graft donor sites are traditionally dressed with paraffin gauze dressing, as the wound contact layer, and an absorbent secondary dressing. A light compression bandage is applied in order to reduce postoperative bleeding. Typical disadvantages observed with this dressing regime are adherence of the dressing to the wound bed due to coagulation, damage, frictional trauma to the wound bed, and pain upon dressing removal.' The rationale that Allevyn Adhesive is known to be effective in the treatment of various wound types would suggest improvements in the treatment also of donor sites. This dressing is easy to use, reduces pain, and does not cause trauma to the wound bed on removal.
Material and method
Allevyn Adhesive is a new generation wound dressing. It is designed to manage moderate to high volumes of exudate and to maintain the essential moist wound-healing environment. The hydrocellular dressing is made up of three layers:
Paraffin gauze is a bleached cotton gauze which contains 175 g of paraffin per square metre of cloth. The purpose of this study was to evaluate and compare the performance of Allevyn Adhesive hydrocellular dressing with paraffin gauze dressing in the treatment of partialthickness skin graft donor sites. The trial materials were evaluated with regard to the following:
Exclusion criteria: patients with clinically infected wounds (inflammation or cellulitis around wounds, purulent exudate, fever - such patients can be recruited once the infection has resolved); pregnant women; patients with a known history of poor compliance with medical treatment; plasma protein < 6 mg/100 ml; Hb < 10 mg/100 ml. Fifty patients were recruited, each patient acting as his/her own control. Half of the donor site was treated with the trial dressing; the other half was treated with paraffin gauze. Grafts were harvested manually with a dermatom. After harvesting of the graft, the donor site was prepared with saline soaks for approximately 10 min before the dressing was applied. If patients had a coagulation disorder or were receiving anti-coagulants, the donor site was prepared with an adrenaline/saline solution. The initial dressing was left in ,situ for 4 days, after which the dressing was changed and if applicable the same dressing regime was applied for a second period until the 7-day treatment was completed. Additional dressing changes took place only if required, i.e. when either the dressing was saturated or leakage occurred. The patients were treated with the Allevyn Adhesive vs paraffin gauze dressing regime until one of the following end points was reached:
Fifty patients, 28 females and 22 males, were enrolled in the study, of whom 44 were evaluated for the end results. The patients' ages ranged from 18 to 88 yr (mean, 59.6 yr). All grafts were taken from the thigh and harvested as partial-thickness skin grafts. The size of the donor site ranged from 20 to 71 cm' (mean, 43.4 cm'-). On each patient, 50% of the donor site was covered with Allevyn Adhesive and 50% was dressed with paraffin gauze. The trial site and the control site were the same size. A clinically manifest infection was recorded in the control site of six patients, who were removed from the study. With regard to pain assessment, at each initial random dressing removal the patient was asked to rate pain by giving a single stroke(/) to the line to indicate the level of pain experienced. In order not to skew the pain assessment a dressing that did not adhere was removed first. Compared with paraffin gauze, Allevyn Adhesive showed a significant difference in the pain reported by the patient on dressing removal. All 44 patients, on removal of the paraffin dressing, scored 10 ("pain I cannot bear"). Three patients, on removal of the Allevyn Adhesive dressing, scored 2 ("slight pain") and 41 patients scored 0 ("no pain").
Trial site, dressed with Allevyn Adhesive
After 4 days of
treatment, the dressing was found to be easy to apply and remove and it adhered only
slightly to the wound bed. The dressing was saturated with blood, even if the patient was
at rest. There was no leakage during wearing time of the dressing and no pain was reported
on removal of the dressing. At the end point of the study (7 days), 41 out of the 44
patients had complete epithelialization of the trial site, which was dressed with Allevyn
Adhesive. Twenty-three had complete epithelialization of the trial site at 4 days, 18 at 7
days, and 3 at 10 days, with a mean of 5.64 days (SD ± 1.88).
At day 4, in all the patients (N° = 44), the paraffin gauze dressing adhered completely to the wound bed and therefore was left in place. At day 7 the paraffin gauze was still adhering to the wound bed in 28 patients and removal of the dressing was not possible without causing damage to the wound bed. At the end point of the study (7 days), only 16 out of the 44 patients had complete epithelialization of the control site, dressed with paraffin gauze. Twenty-six had complete epithelialization of the control site at day 10 and two at day 12, with a mean of 9.0 days (SD ± 1.58). In the treatment of donor sites, Allevyn Adhesive, demonstrated a statistically significant faster healing time than paraffin gauze (p < 0.01). At day 7, the trial site in 41 patients treated with Allevyn Adhesive had reached complete epithelialization, as against 16 patients in the control site. Comparing the overall healing times, variance analysis shows a significant difference in favour of the trial sites treated with Allevyn Adhesive (p < 0.000001).
Compared with paraffin gauze, Allevyn Adhesive demonstrated a statistically significant faster healing time (p < 0.000001). The dressing provided a clean, controlled, moist wound-healing environment that was beneficial to healing. Allevyn Adhesive was easy to apply and remove, without causing mechanical trauma to the wound bed, thus allowing faster, more comfortable wound healing. The patients reported only slight or no pain upon dressing removal with the trial dressing, as opposed to pain they could not bear with the control dressing. One Allevyn Adhesive dressing was sufficient for the treatment period of one donor site in 18 out of the 44 patients. In six patients, half the donor site dressed with paraffin gauze became infected and took up to 14 days to heal, compared with the other half dressed with Allevyn Adhesive which healed within 4 days. No infection occurred in the trial site, suggesting that the risk of infection was reduced when using Allevyn Adhesive for this treatment. The Allevyn Adhesive dressing was shown to be cost-effective.
RESUME. Les Auteurs out etudie le rendement effectif d'un pansement hydrocellulaire adhesif par comparaison avec la gaze paraffinee dans le traitement des sites donneurs de la peau. L'etude a considers 50 patients (chaque patient agissait comme temoin de lui-meme). La moitie du site donneur a ets traitee avec le pansement objet de 1'etude et Fautre moitie avec la gaze paraffinse. Les Auteurs out evalue Fefficacite-cout, le temps pour completer 1'epithelialisation, la facilite d'appliquer et de lever le pansement, et la douleur au moment de 1'enlevement. Le pansement hydrocellulaire a demontre un temps de guerison plus rapide statistiquement significatif (p < 0.000001) et une amelioration du confort du patient. En outre, le pansement hydrocellulaire avait un bon rapport efficacite-cout.