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Wound care module

What is wound care?

Wound care is “the provision of the appropriate environment for healing by both direct and indirect methods together with the prevention of skin breakdown”1. In other words, wound care means more than just putting a dressing onto a wound.  It means looking into the patient’s general health, lifestyle and factors that might slow healing down.

What is a wound?

A wound is a physical injury to the body consisting of:

  • a laceration or breaking of the skin or mucous membrane;
  • an opening made in the skin; or
  • a membrane of the body incidental to a surgical operation or procedure.

Wounds may be acute or chronic trauma resulting from an injury where, because of a number of factors, the injury does not heal.  Acute wounds may be a planned or unplanned event, and healing typically proceeds in an orderly and timely fashion. Examples of acute wounds include a cut, graze or burn. Examples of chronic wounds include leg ulcers, pressure injuries and diabetic wounds.

Common types of wounds

This dressing selection chart is a guide only and does not replace clinical judgement or constitute endorsement of any dressing, product or organisation. 

For specific instructions regarding use of dressings, always refer to manufacturer's guidelines.

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