What Is Wound Care?

Wound Care Clinic

Phone: 801-581-2574
Fax: 801-585-3498

Burn Outpatient Clinic

Phone: 801-581-3050
Fax: 801-581-8446

Basic Principles of Wound Care

  • Prevent infection with daily hygiene.
  • Promote and assess wound healing by keeping wound moist.
  • Prevent secondary problems.
  • Provide pain control.
  • Determine the need for surgery.

Initial Wound Care

When admitted to the burn unit, your wounds receive an initial cleaning, or debridement. Heavy sedation, pain medication, or general anesthesia may be administered for this process. After pain medication is given blisters, loose tissue and debris are removed. Hair, including the scalp, is shaved within a two inches of the burn. The wounds are then washed, using a mild antibacterial soap and water.

Dressings consisting of an antibiotic ointment and gauze are placed over the wound. Depending on the depth and stage of the burn, there are many types of ointments and creams that are used. You and your loved ones will be trained how to care for the wounds and use these products before hospital discharge.

Wound Changes

Dressing changes are usually done twice a day, once in the morning and again at night. As healing progresses, it may only be necessary to change dressings once a day.

In the morning, dressing changes are usually done in the tank room, a special shower room. In the evening, changes typically take place in your room.

Many patients are able to walk and sit without difficulty during their dressing changes. These patients can take a shower using the shower chair. Patients are encouraged to wash their wounds and participate with dressing changes as soon as they are able.

Patients having a difficult time walking, or those who cannot walk, lie down on a special bed called a shower table. Staff members will clean wounds and apply dressings.

Staff participating in a dressing change will wear a hat, mask, plastic gown ,and gloves to protect you from contamination. If you would like, a family member or friend may participate during wound care. If a visitor is present, they will also need to wear a hat, gown, mask, and gloves.

All nurses and health care assistants are specially trained in wound care. A wound care nurse is also available to provide expert advice. If you have questions about the wound, please ask.

Factors Affecting Wound Healing

  • Patient age
  • Infections
  • Nutrition
  • Disease (Diabetes)
  • Steroid use
  • Smoking
  • Decreased immune system (Chemotherapy)

Common Post-Burn Problems

  • Scar
  • Joint contracture
  • Dry skin
  • Itching
  • Hyper & Hypo pigmentation
  • Hypersensitive & fragile skin
  • Decreased sensation
  • Poor body temp regulation
  • Chronic pain
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder