Transparent Film Dressings: what you need to know

What are the benefits of Transparent Film dressing?
     Protective film dressings provide many advantages for the treatment of wounds. They include;
     1. Prevent wound infection: One of the primary reasons for wound dressing is to prevent wound infection [3] [4]. Protective film dressings keep out bacteria, viruses, and other microbes as small as 25 nanometers, maintaining a sterile wound area crucial to effective wound care and quick recovery.
     2. It is watertight: Taking your bath when you have wound dressing on can be a drag [3]. You do not have to worry about this with a transparent film dressing. It is showerproof, preventing accidental contamination of wounds.
     3. Wounds can be easily assessed: Being able to visualize and evaluate injuries is a critical part of wound care. With transparent film dressing, wounds can be seen more clearly and examined more thoroughly.
     4. It enhances wound debridement: Protective film dressing maintains a moist wound environment, allowing a healthy amount of fluid to build up underneath the film. This induces the debridement of dead tissues by immune cells and promotes recovery.
     5. Reduces pain and trauma to wounds: Transparent film dressing limits trauma to wounds and reduces the amount of discomfort experienced during wound dressing change [3].
     6. Easy to use: You can effortlessly apply film dressings on irregular wound surfaces and body contours [3]. Furthermore, protective film dressings maintain a close fit to the patient's body and are comfortable to wear.
     7. They are relatively inert: Film dressings are made of materials that don't readily induce skin reactions, making them an ideal choice for people with allergies and individuals who are sensitive to other types of wound dressing.

Indications for the use of protective film dressing
     Transparent film dressings are designed to treat a broad spectrum of mild wounds and injuries. They include;
     ● Superficial wounds such as cuts and abrasions
     ● Minor burns - refer to burns involving just the top layer of the skin and are not widespread.
     ● To safeguard the skin against shearing forces.
     ● They are used to cover incision scars and sutures.
     ● Prevent and treatment of shallow pressure ulcers
     ● It can be used to keep intravenous catheters in place and prevent dislodging.
     ● It can be used to safeguard donor sites after skin harvesting
     ● It can be used to apply antiseptics or anesthetic gels to wounds
     ● To secure other wound dressings.

How to apply a transparent film dressing
     When applying a film dressing, it is essential to adhere to the recommendations provided by the manufacturer. Here are some helpful tips you can follow to use a protective film dressing.
     ● Wash your hands with an antiseptic hand wash
     ● Put on sterile gloves
     ● Cleanse the wound and the surrounding skin with an antiseptic or normal saline
     ● Ensure that the skin is both clean and dry before proceeding. The ability of the film to stick to the skin may be diminished if the skin is greasy or damp.
     ● Take off the protective foil on the film dressing to expose the adhesive underneath.
     ● Use a piece of film that is the right size to cover the wound completely and leave at least 1 to 2 cm of overlap around the wound's perimeter.
     ● Apply the transparent film dressing without stretching it.
     ● Smooth the film gently on the skin to secure it.

When should you take off a protective film dressing?
     It is possible to leave the film in place for several days, depending on the state of the wound or the skin. You can contact your doctor or wound care nurse to determine the ideal time to remove the transparent film dressing on your wound.

      Here are some measures to take to ensure the safe use of film dressings. They include;
     ● Do not use film dressing as the primary fixation for intravenous lines, cannulae, or other infusion or life-supporting equipment.
     ● This dressing should not be applied to wounds with moderate to high exudate.
     ● Do not use it for major burns or deep wounds.
     ● Do not reuse transparent film dressings as it reduces their effectiveness and increases the risk of infection of the wound.

     Transparent film dressings are a valuable tool for optimal wound care. They are the primary method of treatment for uncomplicated injuries. Also, they serve as a crucial component of other wound dressings.

     1. Hanna, J. R., & Giacopelli, J. A. (1997). A review of wound healing and wound dressing products. The Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery: Official Publication of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, 36(1), 2–14.
     2. Hien, N. T. (1988). Facilitated wound healing using transparent film dressing following mohs micrographic surgery. Archives of Dermatology, 124(6), 903.
     3. Fletcher, J. (2003). Using film dressings. Nursing Times, 99(25), 57.
     4. Ezzelarab, M. H., Nouh, O., Ahmed, A. N., Anany, M. G., Rachidi, N. G. E., & Salem, A. S. (2019). A randomized control trial comparing transparent film dressings and conventional occlusive dressings for elective surgical procedures. Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences, 7(17), 2844–2850.

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