As we discussed in the previous section on assessing the gap, you should complete a full assessment of a patient’s chronic wound at least once a week. At each assessment you will typically also change the dressing.
When changing the dressing, you should:1
- measure the wound’s depth, width and length;
- assess the wound for any signs of infection;
- assess the wound’s exudate (the amount, colour, odour and consistency); and
- assess if the current dressing is meeting the clinical goals you have for the patient.
You should examine the dressing twice, before and after you remove it. This will tell you how the dressing is performing, and it will help you examine the exudate.2
If you suspect that an infection has developed, you should consider using a dressing with antimicrobial components, such as silver.4
And always remember, effective wound management is about more than the wound. So, when meeting with your patient to change the dressing and check on the wound you should also assess their general health and wellbeing.
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