Australian sheepskin apparel

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526A – 45th street East


Telephone: 306-934-7119

Facsimile: 306-934-1597

By Stephen Playford

Reviewed by Terri – Anne Smith Schroeder RPN, RN, ET, BScN, IIWCC, HCL, MCEd (C)

Wound Protocol
For the prevention of new wounds, treatment of existing wounds

and prevention of new and recurring wounds with

Australian Medical Sheepskin

Desired outcomes 2
Anatomy of sheepskin 2
Causes of wounds 3
Pre-assessment of wounds 3
Areas of use in wound care 3
Patient requirements 3
Areas of product use 4
Laundry 4
Laundering instructions 5
Wound protocol for the prevention of new wounds, treatment of existing wounds and prevention of recurring wounds


Australian medical sheepskin
Desired outcomes
Pressure reduction, moisture reduction, shear reduction, standard body temperature

  • Reduce pressure on the bony prominences of the body, i.e.; heels and malleolus, elbows, coccyx, scapula, cranial, and ears.

  • Reduce moisture build up at skin interface due to perspiration, incontinence, or wound exudate. Process is called absorption.

  • Reduce shearing on all at risk areas as well as shearing due to spasms, arthritis sufferers further benefit from this process due to fiber movement at skin interface.

  • Maintain standard body temperature (98.3 degrees) maximizing blood flow. Process is called insulation.

Anatomy of sheepskin

  • Fiber content: Approximately 75,000 fibers per square inch provide pressure reduction to bony prominences when laid on or worn as a garment.

  • Hollow fiber: All sheepskin wool fibers are hollow allowing for tracking of excess moisture from patient skin tissue while at the same time creating standard blood flow due to insulation through an air space.

  • Fiber movement: Wool fiber moves with skin tissue as an individual is rolled or turned.

  • Leather: As leather absorbs moisture like a chamois does when washing a car, excess moisture from skin tissue is absorbed into the leather via the hollow wool fiber. Reduction of moisture at the skin interface allows increased blood flow to subcutaneous skin tissue, maintaining proper skin surface turgor.

Causes of wounds

  • Pressure

  • Moisture

  • Shearing

  • Insufficient body temperature (decreased blood flow)

  • Other (trauma, etc.)

Pre assessment of wounds

  1. Braden Scale Risk Assessment

  2. Pressure ulcer staging – AHCPR (Agency for health care policy and research)

  3. Pressure ulcer staging – NPUAP (National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel)

  • Grade one = reddened skin

  • Grade two = partial thickness skin tissue

  • Grade three = full thickness skin tissue, may erode to deep tissue but not muscle

  • Grade four = full degradation of dermal and muscle tissue degrading to bone

There are a variety of methods for staging.

Areas of use in wound care
Prevention, treatment and maintenance (PTM)

  • Prevention of wounds for at risk individuals rating 12 or lower on the Braden Scale at admission (1 x bed pad and 1 x pair heel protectors).

  • Treatment of pre existing wounds.

  • Maintenance of skin tissue preventing wounds from returning.

Patient requirements

Areas of product use
Although the following procedure may seem challenging, due to the allied affects of sheepskin, we have seem some success by using the pelt directly on certain wounds.

  • Prevention of wounds is achieved by placing bed pads under the individual when sitting or lying. This provides reduction of pressure, moisture, and shearing while maintaining standard body temperature; Boots, slippers, heel, elbow and palm protectors, used as required, provide protection for the body extremities.

  • Prevention of recurring wounds is achieved by using Australian Medical Sheepskin on at-risk areas of the body, as stated in the first paragraph of this segment, or as dictated by the Braden scale.


  • Pre-existing wounds from grade two, three and four where the skin tissue is broken would require coccyx pads to be used as a wound dressing. The wool fiber is placed directly in contact with the wound site. Coccyx pads are held in place with sheepskin garments as above or gauze dressing (no adhesives are to be used due to the risk of maceration ). A five by five inch pad is used inside foot wear on toes, heels (medial and lateral malleolus), inside incontinence garments, etc. Dressing changes are required when moisture presents on the leather of the pad. More exudate from the wound requires more frequent changing, i.e. venous ulcers. If the wool fiber becomes involved or dried into the wound, use a saline wash to remove from the wound. Soiled coccyx pads require a pre-rinse prior to laundering. Re-dress the wound using a laundered coccyx pad after cleansing the wound site with saline. For wounds larger than twenty five square inches, use more than one pad to accommodate wound area. As the wound decreases in size, dressing changes will become less frequent due to less wound exudate. Note: Mechanical debriding is not necessary with the use of this product, necrotic tissue will self slough when ready.


  • Australian medical sheepskin may be laundered domestically (at home) or commercially.

  • Commercial laundering is at 80 degrees centigrade for 8 minutes to achieve thermal disinfection.

  • Bacterial disinfection is obtained with Skinsan liquid detergent.

  • Tumble dry to 60 degrees centigrade, (if there is no temperature gauge on drier, use lowest setting).

  • Skinsan detergent must be used in all laundering scenarios to maintain the integrity of the leather and wool fiber.

  • Bleaching of the wool fiber will occur if body fluids are left too long before rinsing or laundering,

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