Studying the healing and long-term outcomes of two partial thickness wound models using different wound dressings
Abstract: Background: Safe and effective wound dressing treatments are important for proper wound healing. Such procedures therefore need to be evidence-based regarding the most important outcome measures such as healing time, less discomfort for the patient, duration of hospital care and, importantly, less scarring. As the relation between longer healing times and more severe scarring is known, it is important to find dressing treatments that reduces such complications by providing fast and proper wound healing. In this thesis, four established wound dressing treatments (hydrofibre covered with film; porcine xenografts and polyurethane foam, with and without silver), were evaluated for two types of acute, partial thickness wounds: split thickness skin graft (STSG) donor sites and partial thickness burn wounds in two randomised, controlled clinical trials (RCT) with longterm scar follow ups. The relations between factors thought to influence wound healing and scarring as sex, infection, wound extent and depth, healing time and skin grafting were also investigated in these two wound models.Methods: Data from these trials were collected on sex, infection rates, wound depth and extent, need of skin grafting, healing times and scarring frequency together with demographic data. Scars were evaluated at 8 years in Study II and III and at 6 and 12 months after injury in Study V.Results: Two dressing treatments; hydrofibre covered with film and porcine xenografts gave significantly faster healing of the STSG donor sites than the standard of care (SOC) dressing, the polyurethane foam. The hydrofibre was thereafter implemented as the new SOC at the department. The long-term scar follow up showed that the hydrofibre group was most satisfied with their donor site scar, providing further evidence for the implementation of this dressing strategy. From the observer’s perspective no differences were found between these treatment groups. For partial thickness burns the treatment with a silvercontaining foam dressing showed significantly shorter healing time, whereas for the scars, no difference between dressing groups could be detected. A number of factors were identified that affected healing time: for donor sites only male sex was associated with shorter healing time. Sex was also the only factor that influenced donor site scarring, where female patients, both subjectively and objectively, were rated with higher scores (worse outcome). For partial thickness burns a larger extent of the burn wound, presence of deep dermal burns, and the need of skin grafting, all had a negative impact on both healing time and final scar. The final scar was also significantly affected by longer wound healing times and infection.Conclusion: The results suggest that the use of hydrofibre dressings covered with film on donor sites resulted in positive short-term and long-term outcomes. Regarding partial thickness burns, silver foam dressing resulted in faster healing but as for the final scar, no difference could be seen. Several factors were associated with longer healing times and more severe scarring such as: female sex, larger burns, deep dermal burns, skin grafting, and infection. Longer healing times were related to more severe scarring.
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