Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Cost of Dressings

I mentioned last week that my wound has an 8-pack a day habit. Now, that's only the number of packages of drain sponges I use each day. But there are other dressings that I use. I decided to write this post because I told my friend in Hawai'i that I would need to bring a suitcase for all my wound dressings and she said something like, "we have a Wal-Mart here that you could buy what you need". So, I told her that I had special dressings and that I get my dressings through a wound care supply company that bills my insurance directly. And, then I flippantly added, "I go through about $100 in dressings a day". In the end, that was an exaggeration, but not by far. I use about $22 per dressing change or $44/day. So, here's what I use everyday these days:

- 1.25 oil-emulsion non-adherent dressing (3" x 3") - This goes on the open skin and won't cause further degradation or bleeding since it shouldn't stick to it. The wound is big and there's a satellite lesion that has started to bleed so I cut one of them up into quarters to put over the bleeding part.

- 4 packages of AMD (anti-microbial) drain sponges (4" x 4") - This catches all the drainage and keeps little bacteria from growing. This goes over the oil emulsion dressing.

- 1.25 Mepiplex foam dressing (6" x 6") - I use this to hold the drain sponges in place. It also absorbs drainage and the adhesive doesn't stick to the skin. Unfortunately, when it drains a lot, the fluid causes the adhesive not to work, so I can't use it alone. But it's great to cover the sensitive (i.e., degraded) skin and not cause further drainage.

- 1 Suresite transparent film dressing (6" x 8") - I put this over over the Mepiplex in order to help keep the drainage from seeping onto my clothes. This is hard on the skin, though, so I only put the adhesive part over healthier skin. This is big enough to have about 1/2 to 1 inch of transparent dressing that is longer than then the Mepiplex on each side, which helps prevent seepage.

- 2 Suresite transparent film dressings (4" x 4.5")- I cut each one in half length-wise and use these halves to give a transparent overlap to the top and the bottom of the Mepiplex to prevent drainage.

Oil Emulsion dressings (3" x 3") are about $0.55 each @ 1.25 per dressing change = $0.69
AMD drain sponges (4" x 4") are about $0.56 each @ 4 packages per change = $2.24
Mepiplex foam dressing (6 " 6") are about $9.95 each @ 1.25 per dressing change = $12.44
Suresite transparent dressing (6" x 8") are about $4.63 each @ 1 per change = $4.63
Suresite transparent dressing (4" x 4.5") are about $0.93 each @ 2 per change = $1.86

So, that's $21.86 per change, two changes per day = $43.72 each day x 7 days a week = $306.04 a week.

Thank goodness for insurance! I order directly from the wound care supply company, who then calls my doctor themselves to get the prescription or order and then they bill my insurance directly. There's no way that I could afford this on my own . . .

1 comment:

Joanna said...

It also sounds like a lot of work! You must be exhausted.