General rules for acute wounds:
- Clean and decontaminate
- Stop the bleeding (alginates/pressure)
- Wound closure (closure strips/film dressings)
- Dressing film, island film or island dressing
- Bandage (simple cohesive).
General rules for chronic wounds:
- Confirm underlying cause i.e. venous/arterial etc
- Dressing is dependent on wound type and the level of exudate
- If true venous-pathology exists, graduated compression should be used.
The final aspect of wound care is a plan for management. Once the wound is healed, it is important to investigate and examine the intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Once identified, try to alter environmental aspects such as nutrition, exercise, use of compression stockings, and environmental issues such as standing for long periods of time leading to venous stasis. These actions may well prevent redevelopment of the wound.
Some complex wounds require technical dressing and specialist supervision to manage them e.g. topical negative pressure wound dressings and Promogran. For more specialised wound care options, where approval is required for non-scheduled wound care items, the specialist may contact VAPAC to request prior approval. Consideration of these requests is based on clinical need.
VAPAC is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can be contacted on 1800 552 580.