The Effectiveness of Silver-based Dressings in Wound Care

Introduction

Wound healing is a complex process that has not been properly understood for a long period (Dalheim, Harthug, Nilsen, and Nortvedt, 2012). As such, the development of new strategies with potential effectiveness in the field of wound care is currently an area of intense research. In fact, there are overwhelming amounts of wound dressings that are provided in the market, an indication of the little understanding of wound care in the nursing field (Toy & Macera, 2011). The use of advanced dressings in wound care is illustrative of the attempt to make the characteristics of the wound as close to ideal as possible (Sood, Granick & Tomaselli, 2014). However, coming up with the ideal wound dressing requires sufficient knowledge on the wound characteristics as well as those of the dressings selected. The goal of this paper is to explain the effectiveness of using silver-based dressings as part of the evidence-based interventions in wound care.

Silver-based Wound Dressings

Open wounds are possible targets of bacterial agents that worsen the wound condition while at the same time delaying the wound healing process with potentially life-threatening conditions (González-Torrente et al., 2012). Moreover, wounds that take longer to heal due to infection by external microbial agents may increase the cost of treatment, a condition that burdens both the patient and the healthcare system. The use of silver-based wound dressings presented a solution to these problems because silver exhibits antiseptic and broad spectrum antimicrobial properties against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria (Toy & Macera, 2011). In fact, silver has shown antimicrobial properties against some of the antibiotic resistant bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus that are resistant to methicillin and some forms of enterococci that are resistant to vancomycin (González-Torrente et al., 2012). When used at low concentrations in dressings or topical applications, silver has minimal toxicity levels on the mammalian cells, making it even more attractive as an antibacterial agent.

Importance of Practicing Evidence-based Interventions

Evidence-based practice is important since it brings on board new approaches to emerging disease conditions with a knowledgeable basis (Dalheim et al., 2012). Evidence-based interventions are also relatively cheap regarding financial expenditures and time wise when compared to existing mechanisms of managing existing diseases. Most evidence-based interventions have provided patients with the highest quality of care, making them an attractive method of approaching emerging and existing disease conditions. For instance, using silver-based wound dressing in wound care presents an attractive approach to managing wounds using a method that hastens the healing process while at the same time preventing infection and cross-infection from microbial bioburdens.

How Evidence Based Practice Affects the Practice of a Registered Nurse (RN)

It is the responsibility of an RN to provide the highest quality of health care to their clients. Evidence-based interventions form part of the most important aspects through which the quality of care can be enhanced (Toy & Macera, 2011). Moreover, the RN has a role to play in ensuring that the healthcare consumer gets medical services at the most affordable costs, a provision that is majorly availed through the use of evidence-based interventions (González-Torrente et al., 2012).

Conclusion

Evidence-based interventions are essential in providing high-quality health care services that are affordable to most if not all health care consumers. A good example is the use of silver-based wound dressings in wound care, an intervention that hastens the wound healing process while providing broad spectrum antibiotic properties. Since the RN is supposed to ensure the delivery of high-quality health care services to the consumers, it is important for them to take advantage of the use of evidence-based interventions. 

References

Dalheim, A., Harthug, S., Nilsen, R. M., & Nortvedt, M. W. (2012). Factors influencing the development of evidence-based practice among nurses: A self-report survey. BMC Health Services Research, 12, 367.

González-Torrente, S., Pericas-Beltrán, J., Bennasar-Veny, M., Adrover-Barceló, R., Morales-Asencio, J., & De Pedro-Gómez, J. (2012). Perception of evidence-based practice and the professional environment of primary health care nurses in the Spanish context: A cross-sectional study. BMC Health Services Research, 12, 227.

Sood, A., Granick, M. S., & Tomaselli, N. L. (2014). Wound dressings and comparative effectiveness data. Advances in wound care, 3(8), 511-529.

Toy, L. W., & Macera, L. (2011). Evidence‐based review of silver dressing use on chronic wounds. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 23(4), 183-192.

 

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