Skin is an organ which protects the body from the external factors such as bacteria and viruses. Lacerations, surgical wounds, cuts and burns are skin injuries. Laceration is a wound that is produced by tearing of tissue or skin. Laceration can be short or long, wide or narrow and deep or shallow. The cause of laceration is object hitting the skin. Surgical wound is a cut made by a cutting instrument during surgery. Surgical wounds are of different sizes and they are made in sterile environment. They are either closed or left open to heal. The signs and symptoms of surgical wounds are fever, redness, swelling and increased pain at infected area. There are four classes of surgical wounds, namely, class I, class II, class III, and class IV. Class I wounds are clean wounds which show no indications of inflammation or infection. They involve vascular system or skin. Class II wounds are clean contaminated wounds. They involve respiratory and gastrointestinal wounds. Class III wounds are contaminated wound and arise due to outside objects coming in contact with the wound. Class IV wounds are dirty contaminated wounds. They involve wounds exposed to fecal matter. Cut is another skin injury, which is a closed or an open wound on the skin. Cuts can be caused by sharp objects tearing the skin tissue. Burns are injuries to the skin caused by sunlight, radiation, or any form of heat. Symptoms of burns are large blisters, redness, and swelling.
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Dressing is an important part in managing wounds. Silver is used in these dressings due its broad-spectrum antimicrobial property. Silver dressings are made of hydrofibre or foam. Silver wound dressings are used in cuts, surgical wounds, burns and lacerations. The silver wound dressing decreases the bioburden in chronic or acute wounds. Silver found in dressings is in the form of an organic complex, elemental silver or as an inorganic compound. Silver cannot kill bacteria in its unreactive metallic form and ionization of silver is necessary. The external surface of the dressing is coated with silver or it is mixed in the composite before molding. A continuous film is formed on the dressing matrix due to silver ions solution. Silver shows its antimicrobial action when it comes in contact with the wound. Silver affects at various sites and interferes with the cell metabolism. Silver destroys the bacterial cell wall and lead to bacterial cell death.
The major factor responsible for the growth of silver wound dressings market is the increase in prevalence of diabetes. According to IDF, in 2015, diabetes affected 415 million people worldwide. This number is expected to reach up to 642 million by 2040. Further, the rise in the geriatric population will fuel the growth of this market. According to WHO, in 2015, 900 million people were 60 years of age or older and this number is expected to reach up to 2 billion by 2050. Moreover, increase in the incidence of ulcers will further boost the growth of this market. However, the high cost of development and lack of efficacy of silver wound dressing can hamper the growth of silver wound dressings market.
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The key strategy followed by major players in the silver wound dressings market is product extension to gain more market share. For instance, in September 2016, ConvaTec Group launched AQUACEL Ag Surgical SP dressing in U.S. It is an extension of AQUACEL Ag Surgical cover dressings which helps to minimize the infections at surgical site. By the launch of AQUACEL Ag Surgical SP dressing, ConvaTec Group will gain more market share.
The major market players in the silver wound dressings market are B. Braun Melsungen AG, Smith & Nephew PLC, 3M, Acelity LP, Inc., Medline industries, and ConvaTec Group.
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