A prospective, within-patient controlled study to compare the ability of the non-adherent Drawtex Hydroconductive Dressing to an Opsite Dressing (Standard of Care) on the healing of split-thickness skin graft donor sites

Van den Bergh, Barend Hendrik
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Background Dressing of donor sites in split-thickness skin grafts can be traumatic for the patient. The associated pain and discomfort has impelled a myriad of publications in the quest for the ultimate dressing. The most advanced and expensive dressings have been studied and compared to the most basic of dressings, with little or no consensus and an unpersuasive level of evidence. Objectives We aimed to determine the efficacy of the locally manufactured non-adherent, hydroconductive Drawtex® dressing and compare it to the standard-of-care dressing in our setting, Opsite®, in the healing of split-thickness donor sites. Methods In this prospective, within-patient controlled and multi-center study, we included 27 adult participants, each with two split-thickness skin graft donor sites: one donor site wound was dressed with Drawtex® and the other one with Opsite®. The 54 donor site wounds were compared with regard to time to re-epithelialisation, perceived pain of the patient and quality of the healed wound. Results Comparing Drawtex®- and Opsite® dressings in the healing (defined as >90% of epithelialised surface) of donor site wounds, 22.2% of Drawtex® and 3.7% of Opsite® wounds were healed by day 5 (p=0.00002). On day ten and fifteen; 88.9% vs 85.2% and 100% vs 96.2%, of donor site wounds were healed for Drawtex® and Opsite® respectively. The hydroconductive dressing treated donor site wounds were significantly less painful than the Opsite®-treated donor sites wounds at 24-hours, 48-hours and 7-days post-operatively. Overall, there were less complications in the hydroconductive dressing group and the wound healing quality was superior to that of the Opsite®-treated group. Conclusion Drawtex® is a relatively cheap and readily available dressing made locally in South Africa. In this study we have demonstrated Drawtex® to be at least as safe, and potentially superior in wound healing, when compared to our current standard-of-care dressing, Opsite®.
A research report submitted to the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Medicine Johannesburg February 2018.
Split-thickness Skin Graft