There is no panel matching the key "Alert"

Changing Dressings

Changing your wound dressings properly will help your wound heal faster and help prevent infections. Follow instructions provided by your nurse or doctor. Here are some tips to help you change your dressings safely.

Supplies you’ll needed

  • Antibacterial soap, surface wipe or a household spray that kills germs
  • Paper towel used only for changing wound dressings and stored in a zip-lock bag
  • Soap and water
  • Normal saline, bottled water or spray surfactant
  • New wound dressings
  • Plastic bag for garbage

Preparing to change dressings

  • Use a hard, cleanable surface that is away from food prep, children, pets or open windows and doors.
  • Wipe the surface with antibacterial cleaner and cover with clean paper towel
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water and pat dry with clean towel 
  • Place supplies needed to change dressing on paper towel

Removing old dressing

  • Press one hand on skin near wound and with the other hand, gently peel dressing across the skin, not straight up
  • Put soiled dressing in plastic bag
  • Wash hands with soap and water

Cleaning and dressing the wound

  • Rinse wound with saline, bottled water or spray surfactant
  • Carefully remove any bits of dead skin, tissue or drainage
  • Gently pat dry around the edges of the wound
  • Follow your doctor’s orders to complete the dressing change

After changing the dressing

  • Put all soiled items in the plastic bag and put the bag into the trash right away
  • Wash your hands well with soap and water and then wipe the work surface with antibacterial cleaner

If you have any questions or notice signs of infection, contact your doctor right away.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System delivers great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

Share Your Story