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Painful split-skin-graft donor sites remain a common problem for patients. We undertook a prospective randomised trial to examine the comparative comfort and ease of care of two different donor-site dressings. One dressing is the alginate Kaltostat, the standard plastic-surgical dressing in the UK and abroad, and the other is the adhesive retention tape Mefix, a novel use of a readily available dressing. We randomised 50 patients requiring split-skin grafts to receive either alginate (Kaltostat) or retention (Mefix) donor-site dressings. Dressings were assessed by interview and questionnaire at 24, 72 h and 2 weeks, and by wound review at 2 weeks. Retention dressings were found to be more comfortable, required less nursing intervention and allowed patients easier mobility with a greater range of daily activities, especially washing, without compromising wound healing. We recommend adhesive retention dressings as cost-effective comfortable dressings, which readily conform to any donor site.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Plast Surg

Publication Date





498 - 503


Activities of Daily Living, Adhesives, Alginates, Bandages, Glucuronic Acid, Hexuronic Acids, Humans, Occlusive Dressings, Pain Measurement, Pain, Postoperative, Patient Satisfaction, Postoperative Care, Prospective Studies, Skin Transplantation, Wound Healing