I ask my nurses to leave the discarded dressings on top of the trashcan so that I can have a look at them. There’s a lot you can learn from used dressings. I am worried about the fact that drainage can be copious despite compression, that patients on oral anticoagulants ooze blood continuously, and that it’s still a challenge to control bacterial colonization, even with all the tools at our disposal. I think these days I collect more pictures of used dressings than of wounds, and I’m trying to figure out better ways to use this information in patient care.
Dr. Fife is a world renowned wound care physician dedicated to improving patient outcomes through quality driven care. Please visit my blog at CarolineFifeMD.com and my Youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/carolinefifemd/videos
Thank you Dr. Fife……..now I know I am not the only one taking pictures of nasty wound dressings and looking in trash cans after my nurses throw them away before I can check them out.
An important piece of evidence lies in the dressings and bandages. I have been teaching that the observation of bandage and dressing removal is vital for the clinician to obtain a full picture of what is happening with the wound. Not to do so loses good evidence.
Absolutely your highness! We do not discard dressings and we have a place to document dressing assessment in our wound assessment template.