GEM Edwards Pharmacy Sister Company Adapts Wound Dressing to Help Protect Healthcare Workers from Friction Injuries Caused by Personal Protective Equipment and Donates 8,000 Units
Innovative guide shows frontline workers how to adapt silicone dressing for PPE interface use.
In the fight against COVID-19, many healthcare workers are experiencing friction injuries and skin breakdown from continuous use of PPE, such as goggles and face masks. Bruising and skin reactions can occur as a result of sustained pressure, tension and friction forces, as well as from the moist environment created with PPE.
“In our conversations with University Hospitals and the Cleveland Clinic, both hospital systems voiced the need for this type of interface,” said Paul Tracy, President of GEMCORE. “We are incredibly grateful to all the healthcare workers under these extraordinary circumstances, and as an essential business, we will continue to explore ways we can help during this pandemic.”
The GEMCORE360º Brand of Advanced Wound Care Dressings are designed to support healing in all phases of acute and chronic wound environments. However, for this particular application, the Silicone Lite Foam Dressing makes the ideal interface between facial skin and the PPE as it is comprised of a thin hydrophilic soft foam with a flexible, breathable backing. Traditionally used to help heal stubborn wounds, the Silicone Lite Foam Dressing can stay on the skin for days without risk of skin maceration, provides soft cushioning between the PPE and face, and is engineered for gentle, easy removal.
A Singapore study conducted during the SARS outbreak in the early 2000s found that those who developed skin reactions while wearing N95 masks were wearing the masks for an average duration of 8 hours per day.1 In a more recent article published in the Journal of Tissue, protecting a healthcare professional’s skin is paramount as skin injuries under the mask could be an entry point for coronavirus, as well as other bacterial, viral or fungal infections acquired in hospitals.2
GEMCORE, a family of privately held companies, is an industry leader of diabetes management solutions, mail- order diabetes supplies, wholesale medical supplies, medications, specialty third-party logistics as well as health coaching and disease management. Combined, these value-driven solutions reduce healthcare costs and drive efficiencies for clients while helping to improve patients’ lives. Headquartered in Hudson, Ohio, GEMCORE’s company portfolio includes Edwards Health Care Services, GEMCO Medical, GemCare Wellness, and GEM Edwards Pharmacy. For more information, visit www.gemcorehealth.com.
1 Foo, C.C.I., Goon, A.T.J., Leow, Y.H. and Goh, C.L., 2006. Adverse skin reactions to personal protective equipment against severe acute respiratory syndrome–a descriptive study in Singapore. Contact dermatitis, 55(5), pp.291-294.
2 Alves, P; Moura, A.; Vaz, A.; Ferreira, A.; Malcato, E.; Mota, F.; Afonso, G.; Ramos, P.; Dias, V.; Homem-Silva, P. PREPI | COVID19 Prevention of skin lesions caused by Personal Protective Equipment (Face masks, respirators, visors and protection glasses). Journal of Tissue Healing and Regeneration 2020. Suplemento da edição Outubro/Março XV.