The majority (75%) of medical device-related pressure injuries are facility-acquired1 and more likely to occur 3 days faster than nonmedical facility-acquired, device-related pressure injuries.2
Continuous and excessive moisture is one of many factors that place a patient at risk for developing pressure injures.3 The devices involved in managing tracheostomies present challenging scenarios; sutures holding the tracheostomy device tight over the clavicle, postoperative swelling, drainage, and secretions all contribute to the development of pressure injuries under the faceplate.
Dressings used in exudate management in these wounds include fiber-based technologies such as hydrofibers, alginates, and more recently, hydroconductive fibers. Routine tracheostomy care in our facility consisted of using nonwoven drain gauze or hydrophilic foam dressings, requiring 2 to 6 dressing changes per day due to saturation. Even with frequent dressing changes, the skin beneath the tracheostomy often was observed to remain moist and red.
Hydroconductive dressings have the ability to remain intact (ie, not disintegrate) in the wound and under medical devices. In addition to exudates, these dressings can physically adsorb negative elements such as microbes, debris/necrotic tissue, biofilm matter, matrix metalloproteinases, and inflammatory cytokines, thus preventing damage to tissue around wounds such as tracheostomies.4-8