Healthcare Technology Featured Article

February 09, 2012

New Burn Wound Dressing Makes Changing Bandages Less Painful



Burns are among the most painful injuries a person can have.

Now ConvaTec, a developer and marketer of medical technologies for community and hospital care, has introduced AQUACEL® Ag BURN dressing, a new wound dressing for the management of second-degree burns and donor sites, according to a company press release.

AQUACEL® Ag BURN dressing uses the company’s proprietary Hydrofiber® technology, which, according to the press release, “has been shown in an in-vitro study to lock in fluid and trap bacteria and to contour closely to uneven wound surfaces.” Second degree burns are also called partial thickness burns (PTBs).  

Second-degree burns typically happen when someone is scalded, or around flames, or comes in touch briefly with an object that is hot.

What makes these dressings particularly useful for those with PTBs is that they can stay in place for up to 21 days, “helping to reduce the need for painful dressing changes and the risk of exposure to pathogens in the atmosphere,” according to the press release.

Before the dressing was developed, patients with PTBs had to undergo frequent debridements, where dead skin is removed and which are very painful, sometimes as often as twice a day, and often exposing the wound surface to the potential danger of infection from bacteria (usually burns can be at low risk for infection, but if they are contaminated, all bets are off, according to burnsurgery.com).

“AQUACEL® Ag BURN dressing represents a significant advance in the management of partial thickness burns,” said Kevin N. Foster, M.D., in the press release. “A dressing that can remain in place for up to 21 days can help to reduce the need for multiple dressing changes, potentially reducing the risk of infection and trauma to the wound and the patient.”

The dressings self-detach as the burn heals, causing much less pain and trauma to the patient. The dressings actually absorb harmful bacteria that can prevent healing or increase the risk of infection.

The line of AQUACEL® Ag BURN dressings also includes a glove for use in child and adult sizes specifically for PTBs to hands, where a large number of burn injuries occur, according to the press release. The gloves are worn by burn patients to allow them better flexibility and range of motion, crucial for healing, according to the press release.


Deborah DiSesa Hirsch is an award-winning health and technology writer who has worked for newspapers, magazines and IBM in her 20-year career. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves




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