Michael F. Roman, CEO Science and technology have always thrilled civilizations with its infinite potential and possibilities. However, if these scientific advancements collectively fail to save and make human life better; there is no point in such innovations to exist in today’s world. To that end, 3M [NYSE:MMM], a multinational conglomerate with a vision to provide effective care dedicated to patients suffering from wounds, is delivering creative, simple, and efficient products ranging from a simple bandage to all kinds of dressing materials. When it comes to skin and wound care, it is absolutely necessary to understand the anatomy of the skin, the different phases in the healing process, the types of wounds, and the options for wound repair, which may complicate or delay wound healing. The intensity of the wound may range from acute to chronic, requiring the physician to have a complete understanding of external intervention to initiate a proper and effective therapeutic process.
The process of wound closure is typically accomplished by a primary closure technique in healthy patients undergoing an uncontaminated laceration repair, closure of a biopsy, plastic reconstructivesurgery, or closure of a clean surgical wound. The wound is generally treated by applying sterile techniques with synthetic adhesive closure materials. The main objective is to obtain an operative closure that forms a functional scar with complete healing.
Conquering Every Turf
Started as a small-scale mining venture in Northern Minnesota as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, 3M today, has to its name, a rich history spanning over 100 years across multiple industries. It is the rapid transformation of their scientific, technical, and marketing competencies that has allowed 3M to constantly maneuver their skills, eventually letting the company to be charted on the Fortune 500 list. With corporate offices in more than 70 countries and over 60,000 3M products that are used in homes, businesses, schools, hospitals and other industries, the company is practically covering all aspects with a motto of improving life and enhancing every home.
When it comes to skincare, 3M has over 55 years of experience in the medical adhesive business. The surface of the human skin is in a constant state of cellular decay and replacement, breathing, and adhering to both external and internal conditions to retain its ability to absorb and expel moisture.
From highly active patients to those with fragile skin, the company helps to select components that not only function properly but also maintains skin integrity
Variables such as ergonomics requirements, target patient population characteristics, and skin allergens are few of the factors that are mandatory for wound care product manufacturers while selecting the right adhesive materials. This is where 3M’s expertise in the medical adhesive business comes to play. They help manufacturers in choosing the correct products and also assist them in achieving proper market scenarios.
Currently, 3M offers a wide variety of medical-grade tape, adhesive, and film components used by medical device manufacturers around the world. This particularly comprises of “skin-friendly” medical materials, intended for direct patient contact, and more aggressive medical-grade tapes, adhesives, and closures made from plastic films, foams, and fabrics, and these are used in the actual construction of medical devices. From highly active patients to those with fragile skin, the company helps to select components that not only function properly but also maintains skin integrity.
The Healing Touch
It is absolutely true that every wound differs from person to person. As the largest organ in the human body, skin is regarded as one of the most critical parts to maintain. It does have a significant impact on the physical as well as psychological aspects of a person’s health. Instances such as Venous Leg Ulcers or people suffering from chronic edema make it painful and difficult for performing daily activities. To help people with edema, 3M created a lightweight two-layer wrapping system, Coban™ 2 Layer Compression Systems, for effective compression without causing pain. It provides sustained and therapeutic compression for up to seven days. The product creates a breathable sleeve that enables patients to wear shoes and clothing, thereby increasing concordance and the potential for effective treatment. The two-layer system generates sustained working pressures and comfortable resting pressures, making the compression easy to tolerate, regardless of the activity performed by the patients.
Similarly, patients ailing from facility-acquired pressure injuries, popularly known as pressure ulcer may have to go through longer hospital stays with higher rates of readmission and may even cause greater pain and suffering. The use of polyurethane foam dressings to protect bony prominences from friction and shear can decrease the risk of pressure ulcers and injury development.
For effective care, 3M™ Tegaderm™ Silicone Foam dressings offer comparatively longer wear time than the other leading silicon foam dressing. It is also regarded as skin friendly which makes them superior for wound management and pressure ulcer or injury prevention methods.
Furthermore, occurrences such as skin tears, skin stripping, and tension blisters are examples of Medical Adhesive-Related Skin Injury (MARSI). It damages the skin when medical adhesives are not selected, applied, or removed properly. Tension injury or blisters, maceration, folliculitis, and allergic contact dermatitis are also instances of MARSI that are under consideration. Selecting the appropriate product for the right patient with correct application procedures plays a critical role in MARSI risk reduction. 3M offers a wide variety of conditions and patient skin types along with information about the product, making it easy and effective to make the correct choice. Products such as 3M Medical Tapes are specially designed to meet all skin care needs like extra gentle, flexible, multipurpose, and high-adhesion capabilities ensuring clinicians and patients get across all care settings.
"No problem is too big or too small for our team of experts to tackle"
Adding to 3M’s impressive portfolio of wound care solutions are products such as Wound Care Dressings that are uniquely designed to balance moisture. Compression Systems & Wraps provide therapeutic compression and comfort which is necessary for healing wounds. 3M™ Cavilon™ Skin Care Solutions protect the skin around vascular access sites and prevents damage from moisture and friction. Also, this is applied to the skin by using a non-stinging solvent which makes it easier for both patients and clinicians.
Living up to its Legacy
Another milestone that 3M recently achieved is the introduction of a non-woven, elastic blend tape that can offer medical device wearers a considerable amount of relief from situations such as losing its stickiness and skin irritation. The company claims that the single-coated tape, called 3M 4077, is water resistant which delivers better stretchiness and air penetration, and can be worn for up to 14 days. It is also compatible with ethylene oxide sterilization, electron beams, and gamma sterilization.
Standing by the motto of “No problem is too big or too small for our team of experts to tackle,” 3M has contributed immensely to the creation of more than 10,000 new healthcare products globally. Additionally, 3M’s dedicated customer service teams, R&D centers, and manufacturing plants in six continents along with their partnerships with other leading healthcare providers help the company in successfully establishing themselves as a trusted brand across the world.
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