Island DressingsAn island dressing is a specific bandage often used where waterproofing is necessary, or you expect moderate to extreme discharge from the wound. It has two primary purposes:
It is called an island dressing because it is an “island” of absorbent material surrounded by adhesive. They are sometimes called a wound pad or an adhesive border island dressing.
Types of Island DressingsAll island dressings are sterile. They can be made either with latex or latex-free for those who have latex allergies or sensitivity. They can contain either non-woven fibers or cloth.
Most come in the shape of a rectangle, but other shapes are designed for specific types of wounds like I.V.s, chemotherapy port removal, or other surgical wounds.
Uses of Island DressingsWhile island dressings are commonly for post-operative wounds, they can have other applications -- from severe abrasions to some burns or radiation wounds. Because they are breathable and help contain moisture from the wound, they promote healing in a moist environment, allowing some wounds to heal faster and work to prevent scar tissue formation.
The primary purpose of any wound pad is to be absorbent and protect the wound from further damage. That damage can come from accidental contact, the invasion of fluids, bacteria, and debris, and the surrounding adhesive enables wound isolation.
Typically, you should apply the dressing carefully by centering it over the wound and ensuring the adhesive is far away from any compromised skin so that it does not do any further damage when removed. Press firmly and ensure there is as little air as possible under the bandage as possible.
The Sizes of Island DressingsIsland dressings come in several sizes and shapes designed to fit many would types. They can be square or rectangular, or a specific shape recommended by your doctor or surgeon. They include, but are not limited to, the sizes below:
Be sure to use an adhesive border island dressing that is large enough for the wound you need to cover but not so large that they damage the surrounding tissue. Smaller dressings are typically for abrasions and smaller wounds, and medium dressings for more extensive wounds like burns. The large bandages work best for radiation or other burns that cover a more significant portion of the skin in the affected area.
Choosing the Right Island Dressing for YouWhich island dressing is right for you? That depends on the type of wound you are protecting, the size and shape of that wound, and of course, the recommendation of your physician or wound care professional. If you've had surgery, be sure to follow the discharge instructions provided to you.
Just like any other dressing or wound protection, consult your physician or other wound care professional if you have any questions or concerns. Always keep an eye on any wound for signs of infection (redness around the area) and ensure the wound is healing correctly. If you see any of these signs, seek medical help right away.