Debridement is the removal of dead (necrotic) or infected skin tissue to help a wound heal. It’s also done to remove foreign material from tissue.
The procedure is essential for wounds that aren’t getting better. Usually, these wounds are trapped in the first stage of healing. When bad tissue is removed, the wound can restart the healing process.
Debridement involves thoroughly cleaning the wound and removing all hyperkeratotic (thickened skin or callus), infected, and nonviable (necrotic or dead) tissue, foreign debris, and residual material from dressings.
Debridement can be accomplished either surgically or through alternate methods such as use of special dressings and gels.
Benefits of Debridement;
- Help healthy tissue grow
- Minimize scarring
- Reduce complications of infections
When is Debridement Advised?
Debridement isn’t required for all wounds. Typically , it’s used for old wounds that aren’t healing properly. It’s also used for old wounds that are infected and getting worse.
Debridement is also necessary if the patient is at risk for developing problems from wound infections.
In some cases, new and severe wounds may need debridement.
Types of Debridement
The best type of debridement depends on the patients;
- Overall health
- Risk of complications
Usually, the wound will require a combination of the following methods;
- Surgical Debridement – Surgical or “sharp” debridement and laser debridement under anesthesia are the fastest methods of debridement.
- Autolytic Debridement – Autolysis uses the body’s own enzymes and moisture to re-hydrate, soften and finally liquefy hard eschar and slough.
- Enzymatic Debridement – Enzymatic debridement, or chemical debridement, uses an ointment or gel with enzymes that soften unhealthy tissue. The enzymes may come from an animal, plant, or bacteria.
- Mechanical Debridement – Mechanical debridement is the most common type of wound debridement. It removes unhealthy tissue with a moving force.
Types of mechanical debridement include;
- Wet-to-dry dressing
- Monofilament debridement pads
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