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Grade 3


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Grade 3 pressure ulcers develop to full thickness wounds involving necrosis of the epidermis/dermis and extend into the subcutaneous tissues. All epidermal appendages are destroyed¹.
As with all pressure ulcers, the treatment priority is the prevention or reduction of the pressure leading or contributing to skin damage².
In the context of the wound, the necrotic tissue in deeper cavity wounds can be difficult to debride surgically, but is necessary for granulation tissue to form correctly. Other methods for debridement such as enzyme preparations, hydrogels and polysaccharide beads may be useful as alternative in this context.
Thereafter, deeper cavity wounds can often be dressed with alginates such as 3M™ Tegaderm™ Alginate Dressing to help encourage granulation to replace lost tissue.
Polyurethane foam dressings such as 3M™ Tegaderm™ Foam Dressing and hydrocolloid dressings can be used as secondary dressings in this context to absorb any excess exudate.

1. European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel. Pressure Ulcer Treatment Guidelines
2. Berlowitz, D.R., Wilking, S. (1989) Risk factors for pressure sores. J Am Geriatrics Soc. 37:11, 1043-1049
Information provided with support from the Wound Healing Research Unit, Cardiff.

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