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Contact layer, sterile, 16 sq. in. or less, each dressing

HCPCS code

Name of the Procedure:

Contact Layer, Sterile, 16 sq. in. or Less, Each Dressing (A6206)


A sterile contact layer dressing is a specialized bandage applied directly to a wound. These dressings are designed to protect the wound while allowing exudate to pass through to a secondary dressing. They are typically used on smaller wounds measuring 16 square inches or less.


The primary purpose of a sterile contact layer dressing is to manage wound exudate, protect the wound from external contaminants, and support the natural healing process. They are particularly useful for skin tears, burns, and other wounds where maintaining moisture balance and minimizing adhesions to the wound bed is critical.


  • Acute wounds with light to moderate exudate
  • Chronic wounds such as ulcers or pressure sores
  • Partial-thickness burns
  • Skin tears or abrasions
  • Post-surgical wounds

Patient criteria include having a wound that is smaller than 16 square inches and requiring a non-adherent dressing to promote healing.


  • Clean the wound area according to the healthcare provider's instructions.
  • Ensure all necessary dressing supplies are sterile.
  • Gather materials: sterile gloves, saline solution, secondary dressing, and any required adhesives or tapes.
  • No specific fasting or medication adjustments are typically needed.

    Procedure Description

    1. Clean the Wound: The healthcare provider cleans the wound with saline or an appropriate antiseptic.
    2. Apply the Dressing: The sterile contact layer dressing is placed directly on the cleansed wound. It is crucial to ensure that the dressing covers the entire wound bed.
    3. Secondary Dressing: Apply a secondary absorbent dressing over the contact layer to manage exudate.
    4. Secure Dressing: Use adhesive tape or a bandage to secure the dressings in place, ensuring they do not slip.

Tools and equipment used include sterile gloves, saline solution, antiseptic pads, secondary dressings, and adhesive tapes. This procedure does not typically require anesthesia or sedation.


The application of the dressing typically takes about 10 to 15 minutes.


This procedure can be performed in various settings, including:

  • Outpatient clinic
  • Hospital
  • Home healthcare settings


The procedure is usually carried out by:

  • Registered Nurse (RN)
  • Wound Care Specialist
  • Physician Assistant (PA)

Risks and Complications

  • Common Risks: Minor skin irritation, allergic reaction to the dressing materials.
  • Rare Risks: Infection if the dressing is contaminated, delayed wound healing, or maceration of surrounding skin. Management involves replacing the dressing with an appropriate alternative and addressing any signs of infection promptly.


  • Expected Benefits: Rapid wound healing, protection from external contaminants, and reduction in pain due to minimal dressing adherence.
  • Realization Time: Benefits can be seen shortly after application, with improved wound condition within days to weeks.


  • Post-Procedure Care: Regular monitoring and changing of the dressing as instructed by the healthcare provider.
  • Expected Recovery Time: Varies depending on the wound, but typically ranges from several days to a few weeks.
  • Restrictions: Avoid wetting the dressing and follow any specific care instructions.
  • Follow-Up: Regular check-ups to assess wound progress and change dressings.


  • Other Options: Hydrocolloid dressings, foam dressings, alginate dressings.
  • Pros and Cons: Hydrocolloids provide longer wear time, foams offer higher absorption, and alginates are excellent for higher exudate levels. Contact layer dressings are preferred for minimal adherence and comfort.

Patient Experience

  • During the Procedure: Patients may feel slight pressure or discomfort during dressing application but generally experience minimal pain.
  • After the Procedure: The patient should experience reduced pain due to the non-adherent nature of the contact layer dressing. Pain management and comfort measures include over-the-counter pain relievers and keeping the wound area clean and dry as instructed.

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