A pad that can help improve acute and chronic wound treatment has been given the green light for use by community nurses and other health service staff.
The Debrisoft monofilament debridement pad should be adopted by the NHS as part of the management of wounds in community settings, according to guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
In its guidance, NICE said the available evidence on the product was limited, but the likely benefits of using the Debrisoft pad on appropriate wounds were that they will be fully debrided more quickly, with fewer nurse visits needed, compared with other debridement methods.
“There are a range of benefits from using the pad including faster debridement of wounds, and fewer nurse visits needed”
The product provides an alterative to using a scalpel, jets of water, a hydrogel or gauze swabs for would debridement.
The Debrisoft pad, a single-use polyester fibre pad, is wiped across the wound with gentle pressure, which causes unwanted tissue, such as dead cells or wound debris, to stick to the pad’s monofilament fibres.
With the pad, debridement takes a maximum of four minutes per wound, and can be done without painkillers, according to NICE.
Other benefits include easy use, convenience, faster debridement, fewer episodes of care and good tolerance by patients.
The cost of one pad is £6.19 (excluding VAT). When compared with hydrogel, gauze and bagged larvae, cost savings per patient are estimated to be £99, £152 and £484 respectively in a community clinic and £222, £347 and £469 respectively in the home.
NICE said that if all the hundreds of thousands of people suffering from acute or chronic wounds were treated with the device, the NHS could save in the region of £15m per year.
Professor Carole Longson, director of the NICE Centre for Health Technology Evaluation, said: “The available evidence indicates that Debrisoft pad offers faster debridement than existing methods and that the savings demonstrated through cost modelling were credible.
“There are a range of benefits from using the pad including faster debridement of wounds, and fewer nurse visits needed,” she said.
“In addition, the manufacturer also claims that the device is more acceptable to patients than standard debridement methods, leading to reduced fear and anxiety associated with treatment,” she added.
The pad, manufactured by Activa Healthcare, is indicated for adults and children with acute or chronic wounds, though the available evidence is mainly in adults with chronic wounds needing debridement in the community.
The data show that the device is particularly effective for chronic sloughy wounds and hyperkeratotic skin around acute or chronic wounds, NICE said.