Post-operative blistering

Understanding and preventing wound blistering: important for wound-care professionals and patients

By: Mölnlycke Health Care, May 8 2013Posted in: Post-operative blistering

Post-operative wound blistering can cause pain, discomfort and persistent wound leakage, and carries a risk of surgical site infection. Ousey, Gillibrand and Stephenson undertook a comparative study of the current literature to find a way of reducing the statistical rates of blistering.

A study by Wright estimated the incidence of blistering to be between 13 - 35%.  The Polatsch study concluded that 1 in 5 people developed blistering after hip surgery due to tape-related injuries. Roughly 1 in 5 patients in the Clarke study developed blistering when their wounds were treated with conventional adhesive dressings.

Ousey, Gillibrand and Stephenson soon identified a common factor throughout all these studies – namely a statistically significant correlation between the types of dressingsused and the rate of blistering observed. They noted that when dressings maintain a warm, moist healing environment, protect the peri-wound area and do not adhere to the surrounding skin, the rates of post-operative blistering drop.

In Meuleneire’s later study, out of the 80% of the patients suffering from skin lesions as a result of poor dressing choices, a cohort were switched to a thin, self-adherent five-layered absorbent foam with a soft silicone contact layer. None of them (10/10) developed even a minor blister around their postoperative wounds.

 

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