Chapter 21: Table of Contents
Debridement consists of removing non-viable tissues. Non-viable tissue typically fails to bleed when cut or pricked with a hypodermic needle. It is often white (except for nerves, fascia and tendons), grey, black or green in colour. Some thrombosed or edematous tissue may initially appear non-viable and fail to bleed while still viable. When in doubt, or if associated with essential structures such as neurovascular bundles, LEAVE in place to allow the tissue to declare itself and re-evaluate at subsequent bandage changes. This is fine when treating a wound open but is obviously not possible if the wound is being closed primarily. When a wound is closed primarily, all suspect tissue (within reason) should be removed prior to closure. Surgical/sharp debridement consists of removing necrotic tissue using sterile scissors, a blade, or dry gauze to remove debris and necrotic tissue within the wound.