Wound debridement, the removal of devitalised tissue, continues to be a cornerstone of wound management. There are many different methods of wound debridement, these are grouped into autolytic, surgical/sharp, mechanical and biological categories, each of which have specific advantages and disadvantages.
The decision as to whether to debride a wound and which method(s) to choose is very individualised, therefore all practitioners involved in wound care must be competent at wound bed assessment and have an awareness of all debridement options available.
This article will provide a brief overview of wound bed assessment, give information about the decision process of whether to debride and describe different methods of wound debridement.
The word debridement is derived from the French word ‘to remove constraints’. Within woundcare, debridement refers to the removal of adherent, dead or contaminated tissue from the wound. It is clearly separated from the act of wound cleansing which is defined as the removal of dirt, foreign material or metabolic waste.1