How A New Dressing May Enhance Healing Of Heel Ulcers

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By Brian McCurdy, Associate Editor

Ideally, a treatment should be quick and easy to use without sacrificing patient comfort. Negative pressure wound therapy can work well on wounds as it helps to remove exudate and enhance granulation. Continuing to improve upon its VAC therapy, KCI has introduced the new VAC® GranuFoam Heel Dressing. Designed just for heel wounds, the dressing has won raves from a few podiatrists for its quality, speed and ease of use. Colleen Schwartz, DPM, introduced the dressing at the American Podiatric Medical Association meeting in August and praises its benefits.
Dr. Schwartz says the dressing, when it is used in conjunction with the VAC, facilitates easy application with its contoured foam and integrated drape system.
“With the aid of the GranuFoam dressing, heel ulceration bandage changes are easier and less time consuming,” points out Dr. Schwartz, the Executive Director of the American Association For Women Podiatrists. She says these benefits show “the industry is listening to the needs of patients and wound care specialists.”

Understanding The Key Benefits And How To Use The Dressing
GranuFoam’s reticulated cells ensure negative pressure is evenly distributed across the wound bed. KCI says the product not only enhances granulation but its non-absorbent qualities facilitate the removal of exudate.
The GranuFoam dressing also features a TRAC (Therapeutic Regulated Accurate Care) Pad bridge on top of the foot that maintains target pressure at the wound site. The company adds that the TRAC pad increases patient comfort and facilitates quicker dressing changes.
KCI notes you can apply the dressing in a few easy steps. After trimming the contour foam to fit into the wound bed, you would use the drape strip to secure the foam. Then place the dressing on the heel so the TRAC Pad bridge wraps around the top of the patient’s foot.
The company says you would then proceed to remove the top and bottom liner strips and smooth them down, and then remove the liner strip from the TRAC Pad bridge and smooth that down. Then it’s just a matter of aligning and applying the TRAC Pad on the TRAC Pad bridge and smoothing down the edges.

What DPMs Are Saying About The GranuFoam Dressing
“It goes on extremely quickly. You get a good seal,” says Lawrence Lavery, DPM, of the Department of Surgery at Texas A&M Health Science Center and Scott and White Hospital. He cites the product’s user friendliness and speed of application as advantages, calling the dressing “extremely gratifying.”
Stephen Geller, DPM, uses GranuFoam when he needs aggressive granulation and says it has been “very good at promoting granulation tissue in wounds.” Dr. Geller, the Clinical Director of Wound Care Services at Phoenix Baptist Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, says the product’s anatomic configuration saves him time and reduces the learning curve for dressing applications.

Final Thoughts
The company cites the case study of a 77-year-old African-American female with diabetes and a history of compromised peripheral vascular supply. She presented with a non-healing pressure ulcer on her medial right heel that was 5 cm. There was exposed bone but no osteomyelitis or osteonecrosis. The woman’s prior home wound care consisted of saline gauze dressing changes.
After six weeks of VAC therapy with the GranuFoam dressing, the patient’s wound was completely healed and she did not experience any secondary ulcerations, according to the company.

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