Dressing Change: Moist to Moist
Moist to moist dressings promote healing and growth of healthy tissues.
(Scissors-may not be needed)
- Wash and dry the work surface. Wash your scissors with soap and water. Allow to air dry on a clean towel placed on the clean work surface.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 1 minute. Dry with a clean paper towel.
- Remove the old dressing. Note the color, odor, and amount of drainage on the dressing. If the dressing removal is painful, causes a lot of bleeding, or is difficult to remove, gently moisten the dressing with sterile saline. Rest for a minute and remove the dressing. Place the old dressing in a plastic bag.
- Wash and dry your hands again.
- Clean the wound with saline on a gauze pad. Look at the wound and surrounding skin. Notice redness, more pain, or tissue that is yellow, tan, or white.
- Open and fluff the wrapped gauze pad. Pour normal saline onto the gauze and gently squeeze so it is as moist as a damp sponge, but not dripping wet.
- Loosely pack the gauze into the wound. Cover all surfaces of the wound with the damp gauze.
- If you notice the skin around the wound is moist or peeling off, you may cover the area with antibiotic ointment or special cream that acts as a barrier to moisture to protect the skin around the wound.
- Cover the wound area with a dry gauze pad and secure it with tape.
- If the wound becomes dry or cracked, leave more saline in the gauze, and/or do the dressing changes every 6 hours.
- If the wound is too moist, squeeze out more saline from the gauze dressing and/or change dressing every 8 hours.
When to Call the Doctor
- Temperature greater than 100.4ºF by mouth, for 2 readings taken 4 hours apart.
- Redness or warmth of the wound or skin around the wound that does not get better.
- Pus drainage.
- Foul smelling drainage.
- Pain not controlled by pain pills.
- More swelling.
- Wound does not get better.
Surgery Clinic: 608-253-7502. This is a 24 hour number.
After hours, weekends, and holidays ask for the doctor on call for ______________________. Leave your name and phone number with area code. The doctor will call you back.
Toll Free: 1-800-323-8942
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 04/19/2011
Copyright © 04/19/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5187
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