PT011 - Antimicrobial Wound dressings - October 2018 (Updated April 2021)

The EBPB were asked to look at the evidence for the use of Antimicrobial Wound dressings (AWDs).

Following consideration of a number of Health Technology Assessments, including the SHTG (Scottish Health Technology Group) Health Technology Assessment of “Antimicrobial wound dressings (AWDs) for chronic wounds (2015)”, and recommendations from the EBPB expert group on AWDs, the EBPB advise that:

  1. Antimicrobial dressings should not routinely be used on non-infected acute and chronic wounds;
  2. Antimicrobial dressings should be considered only when there are clinical signs or symptoms of localised infection, or where localised infection is suspected as a cause of non-healing. They should not be used to treat MDRO (multi drug resistant organism) colonised wounds which do not fall into this category;
  3. Antimicrobial dressings should only be recommended/prescribed by specialist staff (for example tissue viability nurses or specialist podiatrists) or in line with Health Board & Trust policies, formularies and guidelines as designated by the Health Board or Trust. Their use requires regular review of the requirement for AWDs by the clinician;
  4. To ensure appropriate control and use of antimicrobial dressings, the EBPB AWD Recommendations and Algorithm (page 3 and onwards in the full Advice and Recommendation document) should be adopted by Welsh NHS organisations.

The expert group have issued clinical advice and recommendations in support of the Advice Statement.  The Advice Statement and the Recommendations and Algorithm are all available in a single PDF download.

In December 2021, the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group acknowledged the guidelines and linked to them from their Acknowledged Resources page.

If you become aware of substantial change in the evidence base or circumstances related to this published advice, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. who will then consider whether a further review is necessary.


The previous version is still available for reference purposes: Advice and Recommendations on Antimicrobial Wound Dressings – Oct 2018 (Superceeded) [PDF]

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