Foam dressings are sheets and other shapes of foamed polymer solutions (most commonly polyurethane) with small, open cells capable of holding fluids. They may be impregnated or layered in combination with other materials. The absorption capability depends on thickness and composition of the specific dressing. The area in contact with the wound surface is nonadherent for easy, atraumatic removal.
Foam dressings are available in pad, sheet, and cavity dressing form, as well as with an adhesive border and/or a transparent film coating that acts as a bacterial barrier.
Foam dressings feature the following general performance properties and attributes:
• Helps maintain moist wound environment
• Protects wound and periwound area against trauma
• Easy to apply and remove
• May be used under compression
• Can be used with topical agents or enzymatic debriders
• Allows for atraumatic removal
• Provides thermal insulation for the wound
• Wear time of 1 to 7 days depending on amount of exudate
Foam dressings are indicated for use as primary or secondary dressings for minimally to heavily exudating partial- and full-thickness wounds such as stage II-IV pressure ulcers, surgical wounds and dermal ulcers. Depending on the product, foam dressings may be used on infected wounds,tunneling wounds, or cavity wounds. Can also be used to protect intact skin over bony prominences or friction areas.
The following general warnings apply to foam dressings. Always refer to manufacturer information for Warnings and Precautions for a specific product.
May macerate periwound skin if saturated.
Not effective on wounds with dry eschar.
May require secondary dressing.