Activated carbon dressing found to improve wound healing


Clinical evaluation reveals positive outcome of Zorflex activated carbon cloth dressings when in direct contact with wounds

An independent clinical evaluation of Zorflex activated carbon cloth dressings has shown problematic chronic wounds began to heal.

The dressings were applied directly to wounds in an independent study by Wound Healing Centres UK (WHC UK).

With chronic wounds, including venous leg ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers and pressure sores affecting 200,000 people in the UK alone, and related woundcare costing the NHS an estimated £2.3billion-£3.1billion annually, the implications of the findings are significant.

Supported by the manufacturer, Chemviron Carbon Cloth Division, WHC UK clinicians assessed the potential antimicrobial and healing effects of applying dressings of pure activated carbon cloth directly to chronic, colonised wounds on 10 patients over four weeks in late 2012.

WHC UK research nurse, Martin Tadej, presented the results in a paper at the European Wound Management Association Conference in Copenhagen.

He said: “Zorflex demonstrated a strong ability to lessen and change the bacterial loading, reduce associated pain and malodour, and effectively ‘clean’ the wound bed to allow healing to occur over seven to 14 days of use.”

He described the textile as’an extremely exciting product that would be a cost-effective method of treating colonised and infected wounds, as it would appear to have the ability to change a static wound environment to one that is conducive to healing’.

Over the first week most wounds showed a visually improved surface, with more healthy tissue and less dead tissue present. Seven patients experienced less pain within the same period. Of the remaining three, who initially had low-level pain, two reported their pain levels as unchanged and one as slightly elevated.

Malodour - significant in some cases at the outset - was reduced in week one to either mild or none, and two subjects’ wounds were shown to be clear of all organisms by day seven.

Chemviron Carbon Cloth Division’s general manager, Bob Brown, said: “The function of Zorflex as a wound dressing that can actively help heal wounds has exciting implications for patients, healthcare providers and our industry. We are currently in discussion with wound dressing manufacturers to agree the development of dressings in which Zorflex is applied directly to wounds.”

The black textile has been used for many years in wound dressings, primarily for odour reduction, but, before the evaluation, never in direct contact with the wound.

Sign up for your free email newsletter

The full WHC UK report is entitled An Evaluation Of The Zorflex Carbon Fibre Dressing In Managing Bacterial Load And Aiding Healing Of Chronic Wounds and was published in the EWMA Journal. Click here for details.