Debridement of Wounds – 5 Techniques To Use!

Debridement of Wounds

Debridement is the removal of dead skin and infected tissue for the speedy healing of the remaining healthy tissue. Wound healing follows different stages in an orderly fashion. Sometimes, wounds can get infected due to micro-organisms and foreign bodies when the body’s immune system is compromised. This results in delayed wound healing and the formation of a chronic non healing wound.

Debridement of wounds might be necessary when the wound is deeply infected and is delaying the healing process or when the infection is spreading. For example, in case of a diabetic foot ulcer, which is a chronic wound, leg amputation is often suggested and performed.

Wound infection symptoms include redness or swelling, pus formation, foul smelling drainage secretion, increased pain, fever or chills etc. It is important to call your Doctor if you experience these symptoms.

The five different techniques of debridement of wounds are autolytic, enzymatic, mechanical, surgical and the use of maggots. All techniques have their advantages and disadvantages.

1. Autolytic treatment is the use of body‘s own enzymes and moisture to liquefy the infected tissue. It is selective and painless to the patient. It is not as rapid and effective as the next method.

2. Wound evisceration or surgical wound removal is very effective and selective. However, it is painful to the patient.

3. Enzymatic debridement of wounds is fast and selective, causing minimal to no damage to the healthy surrounding tissue with proper application. This treatment tends to very expensive.

4. Mechanical debridement is non-selective, often causing trauma to the healthy tissue. This treatment can be lower in cost compared to the other treatments.

5. One of the new methods of debridement of wounds is Maggot debridement therapy (MDT), which makes use of medical grade live maggots to treat chronic wounds that are hard to heal. Maggots can dissolve the infected tissue by feeding on it, leaving the healthy tissue harmless. MDT also speeds up the healing process and disinfects the wound by killing the bacteria. There are many misconceptions about this therapy, so be sure to discuss all the pros and cons with your Doctor.

Infection can lead to severe outcomes like amputation and debridement of wounds. The body limits the inhabitations of foreign bodies, but when the concentration of the micro-organisms increases, the immune system is compromised. Hence, cleaning the wound and increases your immune system potential is vital. Nutrition and wound healing go hand in hand. Malnutrition caused by poor diet and bad habits, can severely compromise the body’s immune system making the wounds vulnerable to infections. Hence, be sure to provide ample nutrition to your body for increasing its defenses and its ability to heal fast.