Influence of dressing changes on wound temperature Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: When wound-tissue temperature falls below 33 degrees C neutrophil, fibroblast and epithelial cell activity decreases. This study examined the influence of dressing changes on wound temperature. METHOD: The wound-bed temperatures of patients with a wound resulting from trauma or surgical debridement were measured immediately before and after dressing changes using a DermaTemp infrared body surface scanning device. The temperature on the surface of the dressing product was measured immediately before the dressing change and then every five minutes it until the pre-procedural temperature was reached. RESULTS: A total of 133 dressing episodes were measured, yielding 266 wound-bed temperature measurements and 619 external dressing temperature measurements. Pre-procedural temperatures showed that the wound beds were on average marginally below the 33 degrees C threshold immediately after dressing takedown (mean: 32.7 degrees C). This figure dropped two degrees on average as a result of the dressing-change procedure (mean: 29.9 degrees C). Reapplied wound-dressing products return to the pre-procedural temperature within 30 minutes (mean: 23 minutes). CONCLUSION: This study provides baseline data for future research aimed at promoting maintenance of a normothermic wound bed. DECLARATION OF INTEREST: None.

publication date

  • October 2004