Unna's boot dressings facilitate outpatient skin grafting of hands

Stacy Sanford, Dennis Gore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Present day economics have challenged health care providers to minimize the length of hospitalization without sacrificing quality of care. Within this context, the purpose of this study was to determine whether supporting the hand and wrist with an Unna's boot dressing (Medicopaste Bandage; Graham- Field, Inc., Hauppauge, N.Y.) and splint, and covering the skin graft donor site with calcium alginate (Kaltostat; Calgon Vestal, St. Louis, Mo.), would allow successful outpatient skin grafting of burns to the upper extremity. Twelve patients with burns underwent debridement and split thickness skin grafting on a total of 16 upper extremities with this method. Only patients who were otherwise healthy, had adequate home environments, and had burns limited to distal to the elbow were included for this initial trial. All skin graft donor sites were obtained from either the upper thigh or buttocks. Patients were discharged to home after 4 to 6 hours of observation and given amoxicillin for 5 days after surgery. Patients returned to the burn unit on the fifth postgrafting day for removal of the Unna's boot dressing, initiation of occupational therapy to the hands, and reapplication of a new calcium alginate dressing if needed. This and subsequent follow-up visits revealed a 95% or more take on all skin grafts, without any infections complications. These results demonstrate the efficacy of Unna's boot support and calcium alginate dressings of donor sites in limited skin graft procedures. Furthermore, these results suggest that more extensive surgical debridements and skin graftings may be successfully shifted to outpatient procedures with use of these adjuvants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-326
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • General Nursing
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • General Health Professions


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