SMTL Dressings Datacard

Product Name: Acticoat 7
Classification Name: Silver-coated low-adherent primary wound dressing
Manufacturer: Smith & Nephew Healthcare Limited



Acticoat 7 consists of two layers of a fine silver-coated mesh of high-density polyethylene enclosing an inner core consisting of two layers of an apertured non-woven fabric made from rayon and polyester. Between the two layers of non-woven fabric is an additional layer of the silver coated polyethylene mesh. All five layers are ultrasonically welded together in order to maintain the integrity of the dressing in use.

The silver on the polyethylene mesh is applied by a vapour deposition process, which results in the formation of microscopic, `nanocrystals' of metallic silver.

In this nanocrystalline form, metallic silver exhibits pronounced antibacterial activity against a wide range of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria including strains resistant to many types of antibiotics. It is also effective against clinically important strains of yeasts and fungi.


Acticoat 7 is marketed as an antimicrobial barrier layer for partial and full-thickness wounds such as leg ulcers, pressures sores and other chronic wounds, which are judged to be critically colonised with bacteria or at risk from infection.


Acticoat 7 is contra-indicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to any of the components of the product. If signs of a sensitivity reaction develop during use, treatment should be discontinued. No safety issues associated with the use of Acticoat 7 have been identified to date.

Method of use

It is recommended that prior to use Acticoat 7 be moistened with sterile water, not saline. This will help to ensure that the dressing provides a moist wound-healing environment whilst enabling the silver to exert its antimicrobial effect. If necessary, the dressing may be trimmed to the appropriate size and shape of the wound prior to application taking care that the darker blue surface is placed in direct contact with the skin. The Acticoat 7 should then be covered with a secondary dressing that is appropriate for the degree of exudate that is produced by the wound and the whole dressing held in place with surgical tape or a bandage as appropriate.

Frequency of Change

Acticoat 7 may be left in place for a maximum of seven days although in very heavily exuding wounds it may be necessary to replace it more frequently.


Acticoat 7 should not be used with oil-based products or other topical antimicrobials.

If applied to very lightly exuding wounds, there is a possibility that the dressing may dry out and adhere to the wound surface. This is more likely to happen if the secondary dressing is very absorbent or highly permeable to water vapour.

If adherence becomes a problem the dressing should be soaked off to avoid causing pain or trauma to the underlying tissue.


Acticoat 7 is presented in laminated peel pouch, sealed with a laminated cover and sterilised by gamma irradiation.


Acticoat 7 is available in two sizes as follows;


1. Wright, J. B., Lam, K., Burrell, R. E. Wound management in an era of increasing bacterial antibiotic resistance: a role for topical silver treatment. Am. J Infect. Control 1998; 26(6): 572-577.

2. Wright, J. B., Lam, K., Hansen, D., Burrell, R. E. Efficacy of topical silver against fungal burn wound pathogens. Am. J. Infect. Control 1999; 27(4): 344-350.

3. Tredget, E. E., Shankowsky, H. A., Groeneveld, A., Burrell, R. A matched-pair, randomized study evaluating the efficacy and safety of Acticoat silver-coated dressing for the treatment of burn wounds. J. Burn Care Rehabil. 1998; 19(6): 531-537.

4. Yin, H. Q., Langford, R., Burrell, R. E. Comparative evaluation of the antimicrobial activity of ACTICOAT antimicrobial barrier dressing In Process Citation. J. Burn Care Rehabil. 1999; 20(3): 195-200.

5. Burrell, R. E., Heggers, J. P., Davis, G. J., Wright, J. B. Efficacy of silver-coated dressings as bacterial barriers in a rodent burn sepsis model. Wounds: A compendium of clinical research and practice 1999; 11(464-71).


Further information on obtaining Smith & Nephew products is available on the Smith & Nephew web site.

Revision Details

Revision AuthorDr S. Thomas
Revision No 1.1
Revision date2002/01/29

This datacard has been prepared from data provided by the manufacturer and/or from published literature.

All materials copyright © 1992-2007 by the Surgical Materials Testing Lab. unless otherwise stated.

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Last Modified: Friday, 30-Jan-2004 14:15:36 GMT