Recommendation ID
Debridement:- What is the effect of enzymatic debridement of non-viable tissue compared with sharp
debridement on the rate of healing of pressure ulcers in adults?
Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)
Why this is important:- Debridement of dead tissue is vital as its presence can delay healing and encourage infection. Although autolytic debridement via natural processes (supported by use of an appropriate dressing) is considered to be adequate for the majority of pressure ulcers, other methods, including mechanical, enzymatic, sharp debridement and larval therapy are available. There is limited high quality evidence on whether removal of dead tissue via sharp (carried out at the bedside) or enzymatic debridement produces the best outcomes. Use of enzymatic debridement in the UK is limited and the availability of these agents is variable, however, it is used in other countries. Additionally, there is some evidence that it may be slower than sharp debridement and result in the removal of viable tissue.
Identifying the best method of debridement may have significant benefits, including reducing the length of time people with pressure ulcers need to stay in hospital.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Pressure ulcers: prevention and management
Date issued
April 2014

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No  
Last Reviewed 23/05/2014