Foam dressings: A review of the literature and evaluation of fluid-handling capacity of four leading foam dressings

Leanne Atkin, John Stephenson, Sharon D. Bateman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Posnett and Franks (2008) have calculated that 200,000 people in the UK have a chronic wound, with an estimated treatment cost of between £2.3 billion and £3.1 billion per year. With an ever-increasing ageing population, it can be assumed that costs associated with the management and treatment of wounds will also continue to rise. The Business Service Authority (2014) reported that in 2013 between £160 and £185 million was spent on wound care dressings within primary care services in England, of which foam dressings accounted for £22.6 million of the overall spend. Foam dressings are frequently used in wound care to assist with the management of wound exudate, helping to prevent maceration of the wound bed, protect the surrounding skin and prevent cross-infection caused by strikethrough. The aim of dressings is to provide an optimum environment at the interface with the wound bed to promote wound healing. With limited financial resources within health care, the cost-effectiveness of each type of wound dressing is high on the agenda. It is, however, important that costs are not considered in isolation; the outcomes (general health benefits) associated with interventions (e.g. wound healing and reduction in wound pain) must also be taken into account alongside close collaboration with the patient, and in some cases the carer (Rippon et al, 2008). This article provides a summary of the published literature relating to foam dressings, investigating their impact on healing rates, pain on dressing removal, fluid-handling capacity and their cost-effectiveness. It focuses on the independent assessment of the fluid-handling capacity of eight commonly-prescribed foam dressings: four bordered (Cutimed® Siltec B, Mepilex® Border, Allevyn® Life and Tegaderm™ foam adhesive) and four non-bordered (Cutimed® Siltec/Cutimed® SiltecPLUS, Mepilex®, Allevyn® Non-Adhesive, and Tegaderm™ foam).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-81
Number of pages7
JournalWounds UK
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2015


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