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ADAPTIC Dressing: What is ADAPTIC Dressing Used For?


Removing a dressing from a wound can be a painful and distressing process for patients if blood or discharge has caused the gauze to stick. In addition to the discomfort to the patient, removing a dressing that sticks may disturb the healing layer that the body has started to form, delaying healing and creating opportunities for infection. Difficulty in removing dressings also adds to the time it takes for dressing changes, which can add up if a nurse has several dressings to change over the course of a shift. Using moist dressing techniques with products such as hydrocolloid dressings, calcium alginate dressings, and petrolatum emulsion dressings can reduce the chances of dressings sticking to wounds, and increase patient satisfaction.

ADAPTIC Non-Adhering Dressings, made from a knitted cellulose acetate fabric and impregnated with a petrolatum emulsion, are manufactured by Systagenix. According to their specifications, the dressings may be used for a wide variety of wounds, including:

  • Burns (first and second degree)
  • Abrasions
  • Grafts
  • Venous ulcers
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Nail extractions
  • Eczema
  • Surgical incisions
  • Lacerations
  • Suture lines

While the dressing comes in various sizes, one of the advantages of the product is the tight mesh design that allows for the dressing to be cut to size, without the concern that there may be loose fragments left behind during dressing changes. At the same time, this mesh allows exudate from the wound to be absorbed by the secondary dressing, which rests over the mesh, so the moisture does not stay on the skin, possibly leading to breakdown.

Moist Dressings versus Dry Dressings

The advantages of moist dressings over dry dressings have been studied extensively. In the past, it was believed that moisture in a wound environment would encourage the growth of bacteria, resulting in an infection. However, this has been disproven over time, given that proper dressing products and techniques are used. According to a paper published in 2013, in the journal Advanced Wound Care, a moist or wet environments for wound healing promote regrowth of tissue, speed up the healing process, and reduce the formation of scars, when compared to dry dressing environments.

Reducing Patient Discomfort

Aside from the medical benefits, such as quicker wound healing, the need to reduce patient discomfort during dressing changes is important. The anticipatory fear of pain leading up to a dressing change can increase patient stress levels, increase the need for pain relief, and could result in non-compliance regarding the frequency of dressing changes. In a study published in the Journal of Wound Care, researchers compared ADAPTIC petrolatum emulsion dressings with a gauze dressing impregnated with paraffin and a third dressing impregnated with silicone gel. Ninety-nine patients who required dressings on the hand were included in this study, which evaluated ease of dressing application and removal, patient discomfort or pain on removal of the dressing, and wound appearance during dressing changes.

The results showed that while all three dressings performed well, ADAPTIC dressings were significantly easier to remove. They:

  • Required less soaking
  • Were less painful to remove
  • Resulted in less wound maceration

Regardless of the type of dressing used, proper technique and maintenance of the products are vital to prevent the risk of infection and to promote proper wound healing.