17.13.1 Hydrogel

The principle mode of action is donation and rehydration of dry wounds. There is 85% increase moisture in the wound. Hydrogels have a debriding and desloughing function and they can also be used as a cavity filler. As well as donating fluid it can absorb fluid depending if the transparent lining of the dressing is left in place. This can help reduce pain.

Conformable hydrogel with a non-woven dressing which can be gently packed into a deep, shallow or undermining wound to help debride slough.

Choice of dressing size is dependent on amount of gel required to debride; larger sizes may be required for smaller wounds.

Hydrogel sheet dressings

ActiForm® Cool
  • 5cm x 6.5cm (£1.79), 10cm x 10cm (£2.63), 10cm x 15cm (£3.79), 20cm x 20cm (£7.93)


  1. Change frequency/ wear time = up to 3 days
  2. ActiForm® Cool is a sheet hydrogel that should be inspected frequently initially to establish the level of exudate within the wound. The backing layer remains in situ with low exuding wounds but is removed where exudate levels are increased. Hydrogels are used to hydrate; therefore pain management would dictate the rationale for use where there are high levels of exudate production.
Intrasite Conformable®
  • 10cm x 10cm (£1.80), 10cm x 20cm (£2.44), 10cm x 40cm (£4.35)


  1. Change frequency/ wear time = up to 3 days depending on exudate.
  2. Intrasite Conformable® needs to be kept moist, so use of a film dressing is advised.

Hydrogel application (amorphous)

ActivHeal® Hydrogel
  • 15g (£1.41)


  1. Change frequency/ wear time = daily if infected, every 1-2 days when not infected.


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