Wound Aftercare 

Sterile dressings should be applied to acute wounds after  to skin surgery, for the following reasons.

  • Keep the wound clean and prevent contamination by foreign bodies.
  • Apply pressure to encourage haemostasis( stop bleeding ) and prevent haematoma ( blood clotting)
  • Immobilise the wound ie elevate 
  • Reduce the risk of bacterial infection.
  • Absorb drainage of blood or wound exudate( discharge) 
  • Occlusion provides thermal insulation.
  • Allow for oxygen entry and water vapour escape
  • To cover the wound 

Apply a dressing comprised of a bottom, nonadherent contact layer, a middle layer that can absorb wound exudate and exert pressure, and an outer covering of tape or a rolled bandage. Sterile dressings come in various sizes from simple gauze pads to adhesive bandages and can be purchased from your pharmacy.

If a wound is discharging fluid (serum), the dressing should be changed often to minimize bacterial growth.Doctor Rohde will book a follow up appointment for all wounds for a change of dressing on day 2.

After drainage has stopped, and wound re dressed, keep your wound clean and covered .

Clean wound  daily with saline and cover with a simple dry dressing 

Ointments such as petroleum jelly may be applied to limit surface bacterial growth and prevent the dressing from sticking to the wound. 

Topical antibiotics containing single or multiple antibiotics such as bacitracin, neomycin, or polymyxin B may be useful in a contaminated wound but should be AVOIDED  in clean wounds because there is an increasing rate of bacterial resistance to these agents.

Wound/site infection is indicated  by the following:

  • Infection must occur within 30 days of the surgical operation.
  • And at least one of the following is present:
    • Purulent discharge from the surgical site
    • Purulent discharge from wound or drain placed in wound
    • Must be at least one of the signs and symptoms of infection – pain or tenderness, localised swelling, or redness/heat

Other signs of wound infection include;

  • Delayed healing not previously anticipated.
  • Discolouration of tissues both within and at the wound margins.
  • Abnormal smell coming from wound site.
  • Friable, bleeding granulation tissue despite appropriate care and management.
  • Lymphangitis, a red line originating from the wound and leading to swollen tender lymph glands draining the affected