Management of malignant fungating wounds with a bioactive microfibre gelling technology dressing: an evaluation
 

PRAMOD S, Wounds UK November 2023. Vol:19, Issue:04

Introduction

This article aims to raise awareness of some of the clinical concerns surrounding the management of oncology wounds, particularly malignant fungating wounds. The article also provides practical wound management recommendations for healthcare professionals to consider when managing this wound types. In particular, the study assesses the potential of a 100% chitosan with bioactive microfibre gelling (BMG™) dressing (MaxioCel®), to support wound management in this patient group.

Method

A patient evaluation was undertaken to assess the impact of the chitosan BMG dressing over a four-week period at The Christie hospital, Manchester. Patient recruitment initially took place across the hospital trust, and the evaluation continued across the wider community upon discharge. 

Results

10 patients were recruited during the study. Wound types included: fungating tumours to the neck (2) breast (2) sacral tumour (1) submandibular (1) groin (1) and three patients with lymphomas (3). 

The chitosan BMG dressing facilitated a significant improvement in wound tissue type, exudate levels, and periwound skin, as well as reduced malodour.

The wound tissue type improved throughout the evaluation period, with increased re-epithelialising and granulatation tissue from 34.5% at presentation to 68.5% at final assessment. There was also a decrease in slough and necrotic tissue from 65.5% at presentation to 25.5% by final assessment.

By the conclusion of the evaluation period, an improvement in periwound skin condition was found with periwound maceration and excoriation reducing from an average of 70% to 0% in the four-week period. Additionally, ‘healthy’ periwound skin increased from an average of 10% at initial assessment to 70% by the end of the evaluation 

A reduction in patient-reported pain levels was also noted throughout the evaluation process.

Malignant wounds have a myriad of unpleasant symptoms including odour, pain, bleeding and excessive exudate. The individual with a malignant wound can suffer physical and social distress due to the unacceptable and offensive presence of the wound. Normality is turned on its head and they find themselves in a painful and undesirable situation

(Young, 2017)

All patients in this study experienced a reduction in pain within the first few dressing changes.

Conclusion

The introduction of BMG fibre technology demonstrated good outcomes in this patient group, in a short period of time.

Malignant wounds have a myriad of unpleasant symptoms including odour, pain, bleeding and excessive exudate. The individual with a malignant wound can suffer physical and social distress due to the unacceptable and offensive presence of the wound. Normality is turned on its head and they find themselves in a painful and undesirable situation (Young, 2017).

By being able to manage the patient’s wound pain, promote wound progression across the healing continuum, in the majority of cases, and together with end-of-life care, this evaluation demonstrated an enhanced experience for all involved and increased all the patient’s QoL.

Importantly for this patient group, the BMG dressing was able to remain in situ during radiotherapy treatment, allowing uninterrupted management of the wounds.

 

Read the full article, including case studies, published in Wounds UK journal, November 2023:

Read the article here

 

 

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