The application of moist dressings in wound care for tracheostomy patients: A meta-analysis

J Clin Nurs. 2019 Aug;28(15-16):2724-2731. doi: 10.1111/jocn.14885. Epub 2019 May 9.


Aim: To evaluate the clinical application of moist wound dressings in wound care for patients with the tracheostomy.

Background: Tracheostomy patients may suffer from many complications. Moist dressings have been proposed to lower complication rates for patients with the tracheostomy.

Design: A Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) checklist-guided meta-analysis of randomised and controlled clinical trials.

Method: In this meta-analysis, two reviewers independently searched PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, CNKI and Wanfang databases for controlled clinical trials (CCTs) comparing the use of moist dressings and gauze for tracheostomy patients. The reviewers screened studies according to the inclusion criteria and extracted data from published reports independently. The outcome of site infection and pressure ulcer incidence, the frequency of dressing changes and wound closing time were evaluated by random-effects or fixed-effects meta-analysis.

Results: After the screening, ten studies including 1,220 participants were eligible for analysis. The result showed that the incidence of site infection and pressure ulcer was significantly reduced in the moist dressings group compared with the gauze group. Moist dressings were also associated with significant reductions in the frequency of dressing changes and wound closing time. These results were assessed as moderate- to low-quality evidence.

Conclusion: Moist dressings seem to be beneficial to tracheostomy patients, giving a lower incidence of site infection and pressure ulcers as well as shorter wound closing times and lower dressing change frequency. More high-quality trials are needed to support this finding.

Relevance to clinical practice: The findings offer clinicians an assessment of and evidence for the efficacy of moist dressings, which may be a superior option for patients with a tracheotomy.

Keywords: gauze; meta-analysis; moist dressings; tracheostomy; wound dressing.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Bandages / classification
  • Bandages / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Pressure Ulcer / epidemiology
  • Pressure Ulcer / prevention & control*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Surgical Wound Infection / epidemiology
  • Surgical Wound Infection / prevention & control*
  • Tracheostomy / adverse effects*
  • Wound Healing*