Cook, Leanne (2011) Effect of super-absorbent dressings on compression sub-bandage pressure. British Journal of Community Nursing Wound Care Supplement, 16 (3). S38-S43. ISSN 1462-4753

Venous leg ulcers can be highly exuding and moisture management is often challenging. Super-absorbent dressings have been marketed as a tool to manage high levels of exudate, in combination with compression therapy, for the management of venous leg ulcers. Compression bandages are designed to give precise amounts of compression which is calculated by considering the circumference of the limb. Super-absorbent dressings contain a form of polymer that swells as it locks in moisture. This study was designed to evaluate the effects of super-absorbent dressings on sub-bandage pressure. A series of controlled tests were performed using four different super-absorbent dressings which were applied to a volunteer's limb beneath compression bandaging. Sub-bandage pressures were recorded as fluid was introduced to the super-absorbent dressing. The results identified that sub-bandage pressure increases and the pressure profile changes following the expansion of the super-absorbent dressing. Further research needs to be performed to assess whether the use of these super-absorbent dressings under compression could be detrimental to venous ulcer healing.

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