Adhesive retention dressings are more comfortable than alginate dressings on split skin graft donor sites--a randomised controlled trial.
Giele H., Tong A., Huddleston S.
A prospective randomised trial examining the effectiveness, comparative comfort and ease of care of two different split skin graft donor site dressings was performed. One of the dressings was an alginate (Kaltostat), and the other an adhesive retention tape (Mefix). Alginates are the standard plastic surgical dressing, whereas the use of adhesive retention tapes as a donor site dressing presents a novel use of a readily available product. A total of 30 consecutive patients requiring split skin grafts were randomised to receive either alginate or retention donor site dressings. Dressings were assessed by interview and questionnaire at 24 h and 48 h and at 2 weeks, and by wound review at 2 weeks. Retention dressings were found to be more comfortable. They also required less nursing care and attention. The retention dressings allowed the patients easier mobility and a greater range of daily activities, especially washing. There was no significant difference in wound healing nor in complications. Adhesive retention tape applied directly to the split skin graft donor site wound is an effective, cheap and comfortable dressing requiring little postoperative care.