Mepilex is an absorbent, atraumatic dressing made from polyurethane foam. The outer surface of the foam is bonded to a vapour-permeable polyurethane membrane, which acts as a barrier to liquid and microorganisms. The membrane, which has a wrinkled appearance, is applied in this way to accommodate the slight swelling that occurs as the dressing absorbs exudate. The wound contact surface of Mepilex is coated with a layer of soft silicone that does not stick to the surface of a wound or cause trauma to delicate new tissue upon removal.
This soft silicone layer is also slightly tacky, which facilitates application and retention of the dressing to intact skin, but does not cause epidermal stripping or pain on removal. This gentle adhesion also tends to prevent maceration by inhibiting the lateral movement of exudate from the wound on to the surrounding skin.
Mepilex is suitable for dressing many types of exuding wounds including leg and pressure ulcers, and traumatic wounds resulting in skin loss. It may also be used under compression bandaging. The dressing absorbs exudate and maintains a moist wound-healing environment whilst minimising the risk of maceration.
The manufacturers have identified no absolute contra-indications to the use of Mepilex
Method of use
The wound contact surface of the dressing is protected by a divided plastic film that must be removed before use. If clinically indicated, the wound should be cleaned and the surrounding skin thoroughly dried. A dressing should be selected that overlaps the wound margin by at least two centimetres. If required Mepilex may be cut to size or shape before removal of the protective film. Once in position the dressing may be held in place with a bandage or other suitable retention aid. Additional absorbent pads are not usually required, as the plastic membrane on the outer surface of the dressing will prevent the passage of exudate from the Mepilex to the secondary absorbent layer.
Frequency of Change
The interval between changes will normally be determined by the degree of exudate produced but the dressing may be left undisturbed for several days on clean lightly exuding wounds.
The presence of clinical infection does not preclude the use of Mepilex provided that appropriate antimicrobial therapy is also provided. Sloughy wounds dressed with Mepilex may initially appear to increase in size due to autolytic debridement promoted by the moist conditions produced beneath the dressing. This is normal and to be expected. Mepilex should be stored in dry conditions below 35C (95F).