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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

MeReC Bulletin - Advanced Wound Dressings

The National Prescribing Centre (NPC) has published a MeReC Bulletin (PDF) that reviews the evidence for the evidence based prescribing for advanced wound dressings (A2RA).

This bulletin reviews the evidence based for advanced wound dressings noting that lack of high-quality studies using clinically relevant endpoints. It is also noted that there is no robust clinical evidence that dressings containing antimicrobials (e.g. silver, iodine or honey) are more effective than unmedicated dressings for the prevention or treatment of wound infection.

The bulletin recommends that:

  • Unless the use of a specific dressing can be adequately justified on clinical grounds, it would seem appropriate for NHS health professionals to routinely choose the least costly dressing of the type that meets the required characteristics and is appropriate for the type of wound and its stage of healing
  • Indiscriminate use of topical antimicrobial dressings should also be discouraged because of concerns over bacterial resistance and toxicity

Action: Clinicians who prescribe or recommend dressings will find this bulletin a useful summary of the evidence.

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