Effects of a silicone-coated polyamide net dressing and calcium alginate on the healing of split skin graft donor sites: a prospective randomised trial.Acta Chir Plast 2000; 42(1):3-6AC
An open randomised prospectively controlled trial was performed to assess the healing efficacy, slippage rate and degree of discomfort on removal of calcium alginate and a silicone-coated polyamide net dressing on split skin graft donor sites. Sixteen patients were randomised to the calcium alginate group and 14 to the silicone-coated group. The donor sites were assessed at days 7, 10, 14 and up to day 21. The mean time to healing in the calcium alginate group was 8.75 +/- 0.78 days (range 7 to 14 days) compared to 12 +/- 0.62 days (range 7 to 16 days) for the silicone-coated group (p < 0.01). Although more silicone-coated dressings slipped (5 versus 1), the difference was not statistically significant. Pain during the first dressing change was assessed using a visual analogue pain scale. Although no significant differences were found between the groups, it was necessary to change the dressing protocol in the silicone-coated arm of the trial after entering the first two patients. Overlaid absorbent gauze adhered to the donor site through the fenestrations in the dressing necessitating the placement of paraffin gauze between the experimental dressing and the overlying cotton gauze. There was one infection in the study, occurring in the alginate group. Based on these results we recommend calcium alginate as the dressing of choice for split skin graft donor sites.