Wound Care Myths: 5 More Debunked

November 25th, 2016

Whether it involves heel protectors, anti-embolism stockings, or letting wounds “breathe,” there are still plenty of wound-care myths circulating out there. Ready for the truth? You can handle it.

Wound Care Myths: 5 More Debunked

 

Do you use wet-to-dry dressings in order to save money? Have you administered oral antibiotics to treat infected wounds? And do you follow physicians’ orders for wound treatments even though you know they’re inappropriate?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are not alone. You are among a host of other professionals who have believed or participated in some of the most common wound care myths. In an earlier post, we revealed why these and other wound care myths simply need to go away. But we’re not finished. Here are five more myths that run counter to the evidence and wound care standards that guide our clinical practice.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wound Care Minute: How Often Do You Assess a Wound?

November 18th, 2016

WCEI co-founder Nancy Morgan discusses when to assess and reassess a wound.

 

How often are wounds assessed at your facility? Do you have any best practices to share? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more wound care tips, view the webinar “Insider Secrets to Wound Care” for FREE with using the code WCMINUTE.

 

Wound Care Education Institute® provides online and onsite courses in the fields of Skin, Wound, Diabetic and OstomyManagement. Health care professionals who meet the eligibility requirements may sit for the prestigious WCC®, DWC® and OMS national board certification examinations through the National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy® (NAWCO®). For more information see wcei.net.

 

Diabetic Toenails: Top Tips for Proper Trimming

November 11th, 2016

Check out these best practices for trimming your diabetic patient’s toenails, which can help in preventing foot ulceration.

Diabetic Toenails: Top Tips for Proper Trimming

 

Did you know that a whopping 10-25% percent of all patients with diabetes ultimately develop a foot ulcer – a diagnosis that brings a five-year mortality rate of nearly 50%? Consistent foot care, such as regular screenings, footwear assessment and nail maintenance can help prevent ulceration.

You can help diabetic patients with nail maintenance by taking extra care to preserve the integrity of the toenails. This includes keeping the cuticles and surrounding skin intact, and following best practices when trimming the nails. That’s why we’ve put together our top tips for proper trimming.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Blame Game: Is It All Right to Blame the Patient?

November 4th, 2016

Nancy Collins, PhD, RDN, LD, FAPWCA, FAND

Clearly it is a legal liability when health care professionals (HCPs) do not follow doctor’s orders. But when the patient chooses not to follow doctor’s orders, things are not so clear.

The Blame Game: Is It All Right to Blame the Patient?

 

Most of the lawsuits I deal with have more than one named defendant. For example, the plaintiff (typically a deceased patient’s next of kin) might sue a hospital, a nursing home, and the attending physician at each facility. Sometimes they go a bit further and may even include the administrator, the director of nursing, and individual HCPs, such as the wound care nurse or the registered dietitian nutritionist.

When a lawsuit has multiple defendants, one of the main tasks is determining how much responsibility for the outcome to assign to each party. Responsibility is a nice word for blame, because that is really what we are talking about. Each defendant’s attorney will argue that their client is not to blame, which is obviously their job. What is not so obvious is that this means the attorney must deflect the blame to one of the other parties. It is truly every defendant for himself or herself.

Read the rest of this entry »

12 Wound Care Fun Facts

October 28th, 2016

Beer, honey and grease? The history of wound care includes all three, and much more. Go ahead … amaze your friends and colleagues with these wound care fun facts.

12 Wound Care Fun Facts

 

We’ve come a long way in wound care, especially over the past 100 years or so. But wound care techniques are as old as humankind, with the first wound treatments being described five millennia ago.

And while electronics and advanced technology have made an enormous impact in the way we treat wounds, ancient wound care practices helped pave the way. Take a look at 12 of our favorite wound care fun facts.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wound Detective Series: How to Get Away with Killing Biofilm

October 21st, 2016

Even the best wound care detectives are challenged by this sneaky culprit that delays healing. Here’s how to identify biofilm bacteria and solve the case.

Wound Detective Series: How to Get Away with Killing Biofilm

 

Ready for some serious detective work? In this wound-care case, we will try to find and invade the elusive biofilm bacterial hide-out. So the questions are: where are those microbes holed up, how do I know if they are even there, and how do I get rid of them?

Put on your Wound Detective hat – this one’s going to be tough. Even with your trusty magnifying glass, it’s not easy to spot the signs and symptoms of biofilm in your patients’ wounds.

Read the rest of this entry »

Cancer Patient’s Husband Invents Device to Help Others

October 14th, 2016

Clearing drainage tubes for patients has gotten easier, thanks to a breast cancer patient’s husband and his invention, Tube-Evac.

Cancer Survivor’s Husband Invents Device to Help Others

 

Clearing surgical tubes is a common procedure in wound care, and it often comes as second-nature for clinicians. But it can still be time-consuming and complicated. So imagine how daunting and difficult it is for friends or family members who have never done such a thing, and are responsible for a loved one’s after-surgery care.

Thanks to a loving and very creative husband, there is now a product available that makes the process of clearing tubes easier and faster. It’s called Tube-Evac, and we are happy to share its story.

Read the rest of this entry »

Intake + Output = Big Documentation Problems

October 7th, 2016

Nancy Collins, PhD, RDN, LDN, FAPWCA, FAND

Inaccurate and incomplete intake and output (I&O) records pose a problem in litigation, as well as a risk to the patient who requires monitoring of fluid balance for medical reasons. 

Intake + Output = Big Documentation Problems

 

“Would you agree that the nurses did not know how to do basic arithmetic?”

Of course nurses know how to add and subtract, yet I was asked this question in a very challenging manner by a plaintiff attorney. He had just showed me 3 weeks of I&O tables excerpted from the medical chart of the deceased plaintiff, and almost every shift was incomplete. The plaintiff attorney was reducing the problem to poor math skills, implying that not a single day was complete because the nurses who cared for this patient lacked the skills to add a column of numbers. He knew I would disagree because I was not going to say these nurses lacked basic math skills. But he also knew his follow-up question was the real reason for this math ploy.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ostomy Awareness Day: Let’s Talk Public Restrooms

September 30th, 2016

If you ever work with ostomy patients, you need to know about the Restroom Access Act, also known as Ally’s Law.

 

Ostomy Awareness Day: Let’s Talk Public Restrooms

Editor’s note: in her OstomyLife blog series, Ostomy Lifestyle Specialist Laura Cox, Shield HeatlhCare, shares lifestyle tips and information with fellow ostomates. After being diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis at the age of eighteen, Cox underwent ileostomy surgery in 2011. Today, you can find her one-on-one advice, support and insights on her blog, as well as other Shield HealthCare social media sites.

 

Whenever you, as a wound care clinician, are face-to-face with ostomy patients, you have the opportunity to make a difference. You are in the unique position to help arm them with information – and even confidence – when they leave your care. So in honor of Ostomy Awareness Day on Oct. 1, let’s talk about the important topic of public restrooms.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wild On Wounds: It’s a Wrap!

September 21st, 2016

Wound Care Rocks: a wrap-up of this year’s Wild On Wounds (WOW) National Conference in Las Vegas.

Wild On Wounds 2016: It’s a Wrap!

 

Wound Care Rocks was the theme, as clinical professionals gathered from all over the world for the 2016 Wild On Wounds (WOW) National Conference in Las Vegas. The goal? To keep up with current standards of care and learn from the best with 42 didactic and interactive sessions.

Read the rest of this entry »