silver nitrate sticks & silvadene creme

  1. Can someone please tell me what the difference is between silver nitrate sticks and silvadene creme? How interchangeable are they?
  2. Visit onthemark profile page

    About onthemark

    Joined: Nov '11; Posts: 91; Likes: 70
    LPN in LTC facility; from US
    Specialty: 1+ year(s) of experience


  3. by   emtb2rn
    In my er experience, not interchangeable. We use slivadene for burns and silver nitrate to cauterize epistaxis in cases that don't warrant a rino rocket. Whatchu you doing with 'em?
  4. by   benegesserit
    I will give you the benefit of the doubt that this is a serious question.

    Silver nitrate sticks are used for cauterizing, nosebleeds and otherwise.

    Silvadene cream is an antimicrobial cream used on burns, wounds, etc.

    Both utilize the antimicrobial qualities of silver, but very very different uses.
  5. by   onthemark
    Thank you both so much. You've answered my question. I've been using the sticks to cauterize the raised, bloody parts of a wound, and simple Bacitracin for the rest of the wound.
  6. by   marienm, RN, CCRN
    If the wound (a burn?) is deep enough that there are 'raised, bloody' parts...implying that the rest of the wound bed is deeper or covered in eschar & not bleeding, then the wound might benefit from silvadene instead of bacitracin. With an MD order, obviously, since they can look at it and I cannot.
  7. by   phoenixrn
    We use silver nitrate to cauterize areas of hypergranulation in healing graft sites. Granulation tissue = pink or red smooth wound bed. Hypergranuation = raised, caviar-like dark red or purplish tissue.

    Our silver nitrate sticks are in the wound cart and easy access to stop "bleeders...," if a deep burn is bleeding out and a source is located, we may try cauterizing the bleeder with the stick before the surgeon has to suture.

    Silvadene is just a cream that we apply for presurgical burn care.