Made EasyMextra® Superabsorbent Made Easy

Mextra® Superabsorbent Made Easy

Complex wounds, Exudate Management, Products | Tickle J, Fletcher J

How to use MEXTRA® Superabsorbent
First cleanse the wound using normal procedures according to local protocols and assess the wound. Place the dressing directly over the wound, using an aseptic technique. The dressing should overlap the dry skin surrounding the wound by at least 2cm. Secure Mextra® Superabsorbent in place using a suitable bandage, such as Tubifast or tape.
Mextra® Superabsorbent can also be used with other primary dressings, such as Mepitel® and Mepitel® One to reduce the frequency of dressing changes. Mepitel® and Mepitel® One can remain in place for extended periods (up to 14 days) while Mextra® Superabsorbent can be changed as required, minimising disturbance to the wound bed (Davies and Rippon, 2011). Mextra® Superabsorbent can also be used in conjunction with compression therapy for venous leg ulcers.

When to discontinue use
The wound must be reassessed at every dressing change and treatment altered appropriately. Once the excessive exudate has been controlled and the wound has reached an appropriate moisture level, the wound must be reassessed and a more appropriate dressing chosen. This will prevent cell dessication, dehydration of the wound bed and a delay in wound healing (Dowsett and Newton, 2005). Continued inappropriate use of Mextra® Superabsorbent can lead to a dehydrated wound bed.


Relevance to clinical practice
In heavily exuding wounds, dressings that absorb small amounts of exudate and have little or no ability to retain exudate are more likely to be associated with periwound skin maceration and excoriation (Cutting and White, 2002; Cutting, 2009; Jones et al, 2006). Cutting (2009) and Romanelli (2010) reported reduced levels of maceration and no excoriation (Cutting, 2009) in highly and moderately exuding wounds managed with polyacrylate superabsorbent dressings. Patient comfort is managed because the dressing remains conformable (see case study below), and exudate strikethrough and leakage are minimised keeping the outer layer dry, thereby reducing soiling of clothing and bedding.

Patient safety and comfort
Mextra® Superabsorbent allows high levels of exudate to be effectively managed (Tickle, 2012). This can assist in the removal of harmful bacteria and enzymes from the wound to improve healing (WUWHS, 2007). Its ability to conform to the contours of the wound allows Mextra® Superabsorbent to be in close contact with the wound bed. Good conformability promotes a wound environment that will encourage healing (Romanelli et al, 2010), prevents pooling of fluid, enables more effective exudate absorption and decreases the risk of leakage.

Clinicians have a responsibility to their patients to manage wound exudate effectively, therefore reducing the occurrence of harm (Department of Health, 2009). Using inappropriate dressings to manage exudate can result in discomfort and detrimental psychosocial effects for the patient, as well as delayed healing (Tickle, 2012).

Cost benefits
As a result of the absorption and retention of large amounts of exudate, Mextra® Superabsorbent has an extended wear time and less frequent dressing changes are required. This in turn frees up nursing time and reduces the cost of clinical resources (dressings etc). Using dressings that are able to cope with high levels of exudate benefits both the patient and the nursing staff who will gain time and use fewer medical resources (Adderley, 2008).

Clinical benefits
Case studies using Mextra® Superabsorbent dressing have shown that it has the ability to absorb high volumes of wound exudate and limb oedema (Tickle, data on file). A reduction in wound pain and wound dressing strikethrough has been observed, which dramatically improved patients' quality of life and wellbeing. The absorption properties facilitated longer wear time of the dressing, ensured effective treatment regimens and reduced dressing costs and nursing time.

Effective management of excess exudate is vital. Clinicians must reassess the wound and how it is managed. The effectiveness of care should be reassessed at regular intervals and amended as appropriate. With careful management, exudate can assist with the wound healing process rather than excess levels of exudate hindering it (Adderley, 2008).


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  • Cutting KF (2009) Managing wound exudate using a super-absorbent polymer dressing: a 53-patient clinical evaluation. J Wound Care 18(5): 200-205
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Tickle J[1], Fletcher J[2]
1.    Tissue Viability Nurse Specialist, Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust
2.    Principal Lecturer, University of Hertfordshire

Supported by Molnlycke Health Care
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