Gillibrand, Warren P., Ousey, Karen and Cook, Leanne (2011) An investigation into the prevention of blistering in post operative wounds. In: EWMA 2011 Conference, 25th - 27th May 2011, Brussels, Belgium. (Unpublished)

Aim: To investigate the effects of wound blistering on patients length of stay; morbidly / mortality rates; pain levels; delayed healing and increased susceptibility to wound infection, as the integrity of the skin has been breached.
Methods: A rapid appraisal of the literature has been performed to determine current evidence regarding the prevention and management of post operative wound blistering. A Delphi survey is currently being carried out, to assess incidence of wound blistering.
Results: A standard systematic search of the literature returned 137 articles related to wounds and healing. Through blind, two person peer review of the abstracts, 9 were identified to have direct relevance to wound blisters and prevention and / or treatment. A limited amount of studies have examined the effect of different dressings on wound healing with no conclusive recommendations (Tustanowski 2009). Wound blistering could be associated with a number of factors; movement of the wound site; choice of dressing; tape use; age; gender; type of incision; medications; co-morbidity; cost-effectiveness of dressings (Tustanowski 2009). However an overall conclusion has not been reached, it is argued that calls for further comparative studies of wound dressings will only continue to provide equivocal results.
Conclusions: There is limited data and consensus opinion to the prevention of post operative wound blistering which suggests a need to develop evidence based / best practice guidance to assist practitioners to choose the most appropriate wound dressing that will help to reduce the incidence of post operative blistering.

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