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Aquacel Foam Dressings are an advanced, comfortable wound product that offers healing benefits with Hydrofiber® technology. The foam is ideal for managing chronic and acute wounds, burns, and exuding wounds such as leg ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, and pressure ulcers. Aquacel can be worn for shallow wounds or as a secondary dressing on highly exuding wounds.
This unique wound dressing comprises five layers--a top protective water-proof/bacteria barrier, soft foam layer, a binding layer, a Hydrofiber interface, and a gentle silicone border. These important layers work together to maintain a moist wound environment to promote faster healing. The dry Hydrofiber material immediately transforms into a cohesive gel sheet on contact with wound exudate. The vertical wicking minimizes the spreading of the exudate field to keep it contained. This wicking effect also reduces maceration while still maintaining the ideal moist wound environment. The foam construction also minimizes dead space where bacteria can grow to add the optimal wound healing environment.
ConvaTec Aquacel Foam Dressing Profiles
This easy-to-wear, soft absorbent foam pad dressing naturally enhances patient comfort. It is flexible, soft, and comfortable. Plus, with a waterproof barrier, users don't have to replace the bandage as often and disrupt the wound environment. They can be worn up to a week, making it convenient and cost-effective. The waterproof barrier allows for a longer wear-time and will protect the wound while showering or swimming. When the Aquacel Foam Dressing needs to be changed, the adhesive will easily lift and not cause further harm to the skin surface. The adhesive foam option makes for a fast and easy application.
There are numerous medical studies finding healing success with Aquacel. One study in the United Kingdom found the dressing "particularly paramount when managing moderate-to-highly exuding wounds, where it is essential to select a dressing that can effectively manage the exudate, as well as promoting moist wound healing." Two separate clinical evaluations of the Aquacel Foam dressing found that it is "effective for exudate management and peri-wound skin protection." It also provided a "positive impact on patient satisfaction and quality of life."1
Success in chronic wound therapy requires careful selection of appropriate dressing, which enables effective management of wound exudate. According to current knowledge, exudate may contain large quantities of proteases, including matrix metalloproteinases, MMP-2 and MMP-9, which are responsible for delay in wound healing. Therefore, neutralization of MMPs may be beneficial for treatment efficacy.
In summary, AQUACEL Foam, a novel hydrofiber-foam hybrid dressing, may offer relevant support in wound healing. An effective management of wound exudate, combined with immobilization/neutralization of detrimental MMPs allows for protection of the wound tissue and peri-wound skin from proteolytic destruction but also enables a reduction in dressing change frequency. Since the effectiveness and comfort of treatment are much improved.
The hydrofiber layer of HFHD was able to absorb and immobilize a certain volume of liquid containing MMP-2 or MMP-9. Moreover, the activity of MMPs in liquid, which passed through the hydrofiber and was collected from the upper foam layer, was significantly reduced, as compared to their initial (100% control) activity. Possibly, the observed reduction in MMPs activity seems to be due to a simple lock of active MMPs in a gel-like structure of the hydrofiber layer. Thus, since immobilized in the hydrofiber layer, MMPs have no access to their matrix substrates of the wound bed.2
Another study in Thailand found that "the greater benefit of using adhesive Aquacel Foam is that it contains secondary dressing within itself. It comes with additional absorbent foam, external water-proof layer, and silicone adhesive. The external waterproof layer and silicone adhesive can also increase patient comfort."3
Aquacel Foam Dressing Layers
- Protective Barrier
- Soft Foam Protection
- Hydrofiber Absorbency
- Silicone Border
Features and Benefits
- Adhesive and Non-Adhesive Options
- Up to 7 Days Wear Time
- Water-Proof Barrier
- Protects Against Viral/Bacterial Penetration
- Maintains Moist Wound Environment
- Soft and Flexible for Patient Comfort
- Wicking Maintains Lateral Spread of Exudate
- Reduces Risk of Maceration
- Minimizes Dead Space Where Bacteria Can Grow
- Gentle Silicone Will Not Adhere to Wound
- Skin-Friendly Adhesive
- Supports Simple Application and Removal
- Low Potential For Dermal Irritation or Allergic Sensitization
- Cost Effective
Aquacel Foam Dressing Features
- Product Numbers: 420619, 420621, 420625, 420626, 420633, 420635, 420637, 420680, 420804, 420828
- Size Options: 3.2 x 3.2 Inch up to 9.5 x 8.5 Inch
- Shapes: Square, Rectangle, Heel, Sacral
- HCPCS Code: A6212, A6213
- Manufacturer: ConvaTec
- Brand: Aquacel
- Exuding wounds
- Primary dressing for shallow wounds
- Secondary dressing on high exuding wounds
- Skin protection
- Leg ulcers
- Pressure areas
- Donor sites
- Granulating wounds
There are no known contraindications.
- Single use only
- Sensitive or allergic patients to any of the dressing’s components
- Dry wounds may not have enough moisture for optimal healing
- Wounds with hard black necrotic tissue may also lack optimal moisture
- Signs of clinical infection may require Aquacel Ag
- Inspect the woundduring dressing changes for signs of infection, increased pain, bleeding and redness of surrounding tissue
- In second-degree burns, consider alternate procedures if wound has not reepithelialized after 14 days
Aquacel is available in many different options. You can select between a primary dressing that is non-adhesive or an adhesive dressing. The non-adhesive type is an ideal option for patients with adhesive allergies. Aquacel Non-adhesive Foam Dressing can be cut to the needed shape to fit the wound bed. The non-adhesive type requires a secondary dressing to keep the primary in place. Aquacel Adhesive Foam Bandages have a border around the wound pad with adhesive to stick to the skin. The border attaches to the skin surrounding the wound to keep the dressing in place. There are four shape options—square, rectangle, heel, and sacral. There are also surgical dressing options for post-operative management of surgical incisions.
Aquacel Foam Sizes
The charts below display the size options available for this absorption dressing. They divide into non-adhesive and adhesive.
Aquacel Non-Adhesive Foam Dressing Sizes
Aquacel Adhesive Foam Dressings Sizes
- Aquacel Ribbon fills wound cavities.
- Aquacel Ag Advantage is an antimicrobial primary dressing for use in chronic and acute wounds. It employs hydrofiber and Advantage™ which is a unique silver formulation that addresses antibiotic resistant microorganisms.
- Aquacel Extra is a stitch-bonded dressing adaptable to pressure wounds.
- Aquacel Ag Foam offers a waterproof silver absorbent adhesive dressing.
- Aquacel Ag Extra is another stitch-bonded dressing but with silver. It offers extra strength on infectious pressure wounds.
- Aquacel Foam Pro offers a smooth, breathable, waterproof film for the top layer to help minimize shear and friction.
- Aquacel Ag Surgical comes with a perforated silicone adhesive layer for easy application and removal.
- Aquacel Ag Burn soft, sterile, non-woven hydroentangled dressing with silver for infection management
The bandages come in individual peel pouches and are available in each, box of 5, or box of 10 configurations. Gamma radiation sterilizes the dressing during the packaging process.
Product Use Tips
- Apply an Aquacel dressing that is slightly larger than the wound area. Non-adhesive bandages should be covered with a sterile secondary dressing to keep the bandage in place. Adhesive bandages should not have any of the border area in contact with the wound. The pad on the adhesive dressing should slight exceed the wound area.
- Lightly exuding wounds may require gently moisten the wound with sterile water or saline. Heavy exuding wounds should use an absorbent dressing pad and may require daily changes. As the wound heals and less exudate occurs, a thinner pad or film dressing that retains moisture may be necessary to prevent the wound from drying out too quickly.
- Aquacel dressing construction has significant strength even when significantly wet to remove from a wound in one-piece. If necessary, irrigation with water or sterile normal saline may help with dressing removal.
How do Aquacel Foam Dressings work?
This dressing utilizes Hydrofiber® Technology that offers a soft, absorbent material that transforms into a gel on contact with wound exudate. The gelling activity creates an optimal, moist wound environment for better healing.
How often should you change an Aquacel dressing?
When the dressing becomes loose, begins to fall off, or does not stay in place; it is time to change the dressing. If exudate starts to seep out from the edges of the dressing, it is also time to change.
Aquacel may require daily replacement when applied to heavy exuding or sloughy wounds. As the exudate decreases, the change interval can extend up to 7 days. When the wound bed becomes dry, consider switching to a film dressing to conserve moisture.
A medical study backs up the manufacturer's claim of a less frequent changing schedule. The study found that there is a "significant difference between treatment groups was observed in mean wear time, with a longer wear time of four days observed in the hydrofibre dressing group compared to three days in the alginate group. The hydrofibre dressing group therefore demonstrated a significantly lower frequency of dressing changes required per week. Significantly more patients achieved a seven-day wear time with the hydrofibre dressing than with the alginate dressing."4
Does the Aquacel dressing protect against skin breakdown?
Yes, the foam material acts as padding to help prevent skin shear and also absorbs exudate to prevent maceration. One comparative study from Australia concluded that you can "count on AQUACEL® Foam... to protect against skin breakdown caused by excess moisture or shear force. AQUACEL® Foam dressing demonstrated significantly lower shear force than Mepilex™ Border dressing."5
Another study found that "multi-layered dressings perform better than the single-layered dressings." The "effects of pressure in combination with shear on skin viability can be improved with foam dressings."6
How do you use an Aquacel dressing?
The design of Aquacel bandage protects peri-wound skin from excoriation, defend against skin breakdown and maceration, and create the optimal wound healing environment. Its design supports exuding wounds, use as a primary dressing on shallow wounds, use as a secondary dressing on highly exuding wounds, and for skin protection.
Can you shower with an absorbent dressing? Is it waterproof?
Yes, you can shower with this dressing. The outerlayer of the dressing is a waterproof barrier to harmful microorganisms. However, you should not bathe or soak for a prolonged period. Avoid swimming and use of a hot tub while using this dressing.
Is a foam dressing good for infected wounds?
Yes, not only is the dressing a barrier to external harmful particles, it wicks away from the wound dangerous organisms that can spawn infection. The dressing removes infection particles from the wound bed to promote healing. One study cited in Wound Care found that Aquacel "effectively sequester[s] challeng[ing] organisms from a simulated wound fluid. However, the hydrophobic and hydrofibre dressings produced statistically significant results in their ability to adsorb and retain challenge organisms.... These investigations have demonstrated that a hydrofibre dressing effectively sequesters and retains micro-organisms upon exposure to simulated wound fluid, and may therefore provide a passive mechanism for reducing the microbial load in wounds and in the surrounding environment."7
What is the Best Foam Dressing?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of an Aquacel Foam Dressing?
- Absorbs and locks away wound exudate
- Promotes a moist wound environment for exuding wounds
- Improves the quality of life for patients
- Reduces the instance of localized maceration
- Reduces the instance of excoriation
- Provides autolytic debridement of wound slough
- Reduces the number of dressing changes over competing products
- Does not support dry wound beds
- Does not support necrotic tissue
How do you remove or change an Aquacel dressing?
Use the following steps to remove a non-adhesive dressing.
- First, always thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water.
- Apply sterile saline or sterile water to the underside of the dressing.
- A sterile swab moistened with sterile saline can help with this procedure if needed.
- When the dressing is completely loose, gently lift it off of the wound bed.
To remove an adhesive dressing, the following steps provide for the best results.
- First, always thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water.
- Gently press down on the corner of the dressing with one hand.
- Using the other hand, slowly lift up one of the edges of the dressing.
- Stretch the edge of the dressing down and out to break the seal between the skin and the adhesive border. Do not pull up on the dressing.
- Slowly work your way around the dressing border until the dressing is loose. Then, carefully remove the dressing.
How do you use an Aquacel foam dressing?
The design of Aquacel protects peri-wound skin from excoriation, defends against skin breakdown and maceration, and creates the optimal wound healing environment. Its design supports exuding wounds, use as a primary dressing on shallow wounds, use as a secondary bandage on highly exuding wounds, and for skin protection.
Wound Contact Video (1:59 minutes)
Wound Contact Closeup Action Video (0:05 minutes)
Fluid Sequestration Test Video (2:02 minutes)
Surgical Fluid Sequestration Test Video (1:12 minutes)
Visual Assessment of Exudate Retention Under Compression Video (2:01 minutes)
Introduction to Hydrofiber Video (0:43 minutes)
Hydrofiber Locking Technology Video (0:49 minutes)
Hydrofiber Contouring Video (0:47 minutes)
Hydrofiber Responds Video (1:34 minutes)
Hydrofiber Wound Action Video (0:37 minutes)
- 1 Tickle, Joy. "Positive clinical and patient outcomes with a next-generation foam dressing." Wounds UK (2016). (Last Accessed July-7-2020)
- 2 Krejner, Alicja, and Tomas Z. Grzela. "Modulation of matrix metalloproteinases MMP-2 and MMP-9 activity by hydrofiber-foam hybrid dressing–relevant support in the treatment of chronic wounds." Central-European journal of immunology 40.3 (2015): 391. (Last Accessed July-7-2020)
- 3 Wongkietkachorn, Apinut, et al. "Skin Graft Fixation Using Adhesive Hydrofiber Foam (Adhesive Aquacel Foam)." Annals of plastic surgery (2019). (Last Accessed July-9-2020)
- 4 Armstrong SH, Ruckley CV. Use of a fibrous dressing in exuding leg ulcers. Journal of Wound Care 1997;6(7):322-4. (Last Accessed July-7-2020)
- 5 Miller, G., and D. Trotter. "A simple and effective ear dressing." Wound Practice & Research: Journal of the Australian Wound Management Association 23.1 (2015): 30. (Last Accessed July-8-2020)
- 6 De Wert, L. A., et al. "Improving the effect of shear on skin viability with wound dressings." journal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials 60 (2016): 505-514. (Last Accessed July-8-2020)
- 7 Bowler PG, Jones SA, Davies BJ, Coyle E. Infection control properties of some wound dressings. J. Wound Care. 1999;8(10):499-502. (Last Accessed July-8-2020)
- Bishop, S. M., et al. "Importance of moisture balance at the wound-dressing interface." Journal of wound care 12.4 (2003): 125-128. (Last Accessed July-7-2020)
- Bowler PG, Jones SA, Walker M, Parsons D. Microbicidal properties of a silver-containing Hydrofiber® dressing against a variety of burn wound pathogens. J.Burn Care Rehabil. 2004;25: 192-196. (Last Accessed July-7-2020)
- Jones, Samantha A., et al. "Controlling wound bioburden with a novel silver‐containing Hydrofiber® dressing." Wound repair and regeneration 12.3 (2004): 288-294. (Last Accessed July-7-2020)
- Newman GR, Walker M, Hobot J, Bowler P. Visualisation of bacterial sequestration and bactericidal activity within hydrating Hydrofiber® wound dressings. Biomaterials. 2006;27:1129-1139. (Last Accessed July-7-2020)
- Robinson BJ. The use of a hydrofiber dressing in wound management. J Wound Care. 2000;9(1):32-34. (Last Accessed July-7-2020)
- Walker M, Hobot JA, Newman GR, Bowler PG. Scanning electron microscopic examination of bacterial immobilisation in a carboxymethylcellulose (Aquacel) and alginate dressings. Biomaterials. 2003;24(5):883.-890. (Last Accessed July-7-2020)
- Waring MJ, Parsons D. Physico-chemical characterisation of carboxymethylated spun cellulose fibres. Biomaterials. 2001;22:903-912. (Last Accessed July-7-2020)
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