Can AmeriGel Reinvent Healing Expectations For Patients?

By Brian McCurdy, Associate Editor

When looking for a wound dressing, you have no shortage of options. You also probably have no shortage of expectations and neither do your patients. You want to ensure shorter healing times, fewer healing complications, simple usage and eliminate soaking for your patients. One may want to consider the AmeriGel Wound Dressing, a hydrogel dressing that is indicated for pressure ulcers, venous stasis ulcers, diabetic skin ulcers, first- and second-degree burns, postsurgical incisions, cuts and abrasions. The manufacturer AmerX Health Care says using the dressing reduces healing time between 20 to 50 percent and eliminates patient soaking. AmerX cites a 60-day study of 152 patients, 72 of whom had a stage I ulcers and 80 who had stage II to IV ulcers (National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel staging). All stage I ulcers healed by day seven without sequelae and 88 percent of stage II ulcers healed in an average of 46 days, according to the company. Additionally, AmerX notes the study determined that AmeriGel resulted in an average healing time of 54 days in 62 percent of stage III ulcers and averaged 52 days in 16 percent of stage IV ulcers. Perhaps most importantly to your patients, AmeriGel says the product’s aggressive autolytic debriding properties eliminate patient soaking and significantly reduce healing times. The company notes podiatrists have reported that total matrixectomies have healed between 14 and 21 days after the procedure and partial matrixectomies have healed in nine to 11 days. Such advantages have been pluses for Frederick Tomassi, DPM. He says he has had “very positive” experiences with AmeriGel, which he has used for approximately two years. “We’ve had an increase in our healing time,” notes Dr. Tomassi, who practices at Bay City Associates in Erie, Pa. He adds that the elimination of soaking has made “a big difference.” A Closer Look At AmeriGel’s Antimicrobial Properties Oakin, or Oak extract, enhances the product’s antimicrobial, antiinflammatory and antifungal properties, according to the company. A test showed Oak extract was bactericidal against 49 gram-positive and negative microbes, including Staph, Strep, Pseudomonas and Candida, according to AmerX. In addition, it notes the Oakin decreases the permeability of cell membranes by sending proteins to the wound bed. Another ingredient in the mix is Meadowsweet extract, which is derived from a plant. The extract yields a safe natural salicyclic aldehyde, which provides mild analgesia, particularly in a stasis ulcer, according to AmerX. The base ingredient of polyethylene glycol (PEG) liquefies at body temperature so it can reach areas of tunneling and undermining, which helps one maintain a moist wound bed. The dressing also utilizes zinc acetate. What About The Practical Considerations? Dr. Tomassi says he is pleased with the product’s broad spectrum coverage and says AmeriGel is “a nice adjunct from a financial standpoint.” Ease of use is always an important consideration in ensuring patient compliance. According to the company, the AmeriGel Wound Dressing only requires daily dressing changes and patients can remove the bandage after 48 hours and resume normal bathing with soap and water. After showering, they should blot the site dry and re-apply the AmeriGel. Then they cover the nail bed with gauze and secure it with a Band-Aid. The company notes that patients should continue daily dressing changes until the drainage ceases. Dr. Tomassi says there is one drawback of temporary burning, which usually lasts for only 10 minutes. Overall, however, he says his patients are happy with AmeriGel.

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