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Malnutrition and Wound Care: A Dreadful Duo

August 24th, 2016

Check out these top tips to recognize, treat and prevent malnutrition – and get those patient wounds healing.

 

Malnutrition and Wound Care: A Dreadful Duo

 

(Adapted from Tips to Recognize, Treat and Prevent Malnutrition by Amy Carrera, MD, RD, CNSC)

Malnutrition in the hospital setting can be more common than you think. In fact, up to half of hospitalized patients are either malnourished or at-risk of malnutrition. And when it comes to wound care, malnutrition can cause a number of complications, including delayed wound healing, infection, and other problems that may lead to hospital readmissions.

Let’s take a closer look at what malnutrition actually is, what happens when patients are malnourished, and some tips to recognize, prevent and treat it.

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10 Most Common Ostomy Patient Questions

August 17th, 2016

Ostomy Lifestyle Specialist and fellow ostomate Laura Cox shares her most frequently asked patient questions (and she gives you the answers, too).

Ten Most Common Ostomy Patient Questions

photo: Sherry Yates Young/Shutterstock.com

Editor’s note: in her 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 at her OstomyLife blog, and on other Shield HealthCare social media sites.

 

In my experience working with a variety of healthcare professionals and patients, I continuously field a variety of questions about ostomies, some of which I hear again and again. And I’m always happy to answer them.

For clinicians working with ostomy surgery patients, it’s important to be armed with helpful information that can be shared in order to help them learn to be more comfortable and confident after surgery. That’s why I’ve compiled the ten most common questions that ostomy patients ask – along with my answers from personal experience. By sharing them within your facility, you can help your patients feel more confident as they heal and regain their independence.

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Wound Detective Series: When Wounds Won’t Heal

August 12th, 2016

Here’s how wound care detectives can solve the mystery of chronic wounds that fail to heal.

 

Epibole

 

Ready for some serious detective work? In this case, our focus is on those chronic wounds that just won’t heal, including epibole (which happens in full thickness wounds). And as we know, this rolled wound edge inhibits healing. But why does this happen with some wounds and not others?

Put on your Wound Detective hat, get out your magnifying glass, and look for the signs and symptoms in your patient’s wound bed, including color, tissue type and odor.

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Great Expectations Unmet: The Real Reason Patients Sue

August 5th, 2016

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

Most lawsuits start not because of poor medical care but because families believe promises were made and broken and they are angry.

 

Great Expectations Unmet: The Real Reason Patients Sue

 

If you speak to any health care attorney about the proliferation of lawsuits against hospitals, nursing homes, and health care providers (HCPs) over the last decade or so, you will engage in a conversation peppered with a variety of legal terms. These may include breach of duty, negligence, malpractice, wrongful death, statutory standard of care, or even criminal culpability. It is important to understand that these are formal words with specific legal meanings, and at least a few of them appear on every plaintiff complaint as the reason for the lawsuit.

This is in sharp contrast to every deposition I have ever read from a plaintiff—usually the surviving spouse or child/children of the deceased. These family members never use legal jargon. Instead, they use emotional terms that reveal the true reason they are suing. Unless the family member works in the medical field, they rarely criticize the actual medical care but rather express great sadness with the personal care and the way they were treated. Plaintiffs frequently remark about the lack of caring they felt in health care. It is these words that we must focus on if we are to understand the patient perspective and thereby improve patient satisfaction.

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Diabetic Foot Screening Guide

July 29th, 2016

Five clinical tests for diagnosing loss of protective sensation in the diabetic foot, plus tips on inflammation assessment.

 

Diabetic Foot Screening Guide

 

How serious are diabetic foot ulcers? The statistics are sobering:

  • It is estimated that between 10 and 25% of patients with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer in their lifetime.
  • Diabetic foot ulcers precede 84% of all lower leg amputations.
  • The five-year mortality of patients with newly diagnosed diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) is nearly 50%, and carries a worse prognosis than breast cancer, prostate cancer, or Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

In addition, DFUs are at increased risk for infections and other complications, and continue to be a major cause of hospitalizations and additional healthcare expenditures.  So while patients suffer greatly from DFUs, these chronic wounds are also a huge financial burden on healthcare systems. This is because these same patients spend more days in the hospital, and experience more visits to the emergency room and outpatient physician offices than other patients with diabetes.

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Maceration and Hydrogels? Just Say Whoa

July 21st, 2016

How do you use hydrogel dressings to keep wounds moist without causing maceration? Very carefully.  

 

Maceration and Hydrogels? Just Say Whoa

 

If you’ve ever taken a long bath or spent an afternoon in a swimming pool, you’re familiar with what happens to your hands and feet: they become soft, white, and wrinkled up like prunes. This is a classic case of maceration, which occurs when skin tissue is exposed to excessive moisture over a period of time.

As clinicians, we regularly treat patients with wounds (which need to be kept moist) that are surrounded by tissue that needs to be kept dry. So knowing how to properly treat the wound without causing maceration makes all the difference in the healing process.
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Pressure Injury Prevention: Nutrition Matters

July 15th, 2016

(Adapted from  Nutrition and Wound Care by Amy Carrera, MD, RD, CNSC)

Proper nutrition is key when it comes to pressure injury prevention and effective wound care, no matter if it’s at home or in a health care facility.


Nutrition and Pressure Injury Prevention


Pressure injuries can occur in health care settings or at home, and affect more than 2.5 million Americans annually. The cost of treating just one Stage III or IV pressure injury may range anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000. Adequate nutrition status is paramount to wound prevention and helps to facilitate wound healing.

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Say Cheese to the Camera: Wound Photography Shot by Family Members

July 8th, 2016

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

These days, most people have a camera in their pocket, giving family members the ability to take their own wound photographs.

Say Cheese to the Camera: Wound Photography Shot by Family Members

 

When we talk about wound photography, we usually are referring to health care professionals (HCPs) taking periodic photographs to document the healing process as part of a patient’s permanent medical record. In fact, some new cameras are made specifically for this purpose. Some of these cameras not only capture an image but also can provide wound measurements, and some even offer automated integration into the patient’s electronic health record.

Today, however, HCPs are not the only ones with cameras. Family members or visitors to a wound clinic or health care facility usually have a camera with them, and they love to use it. This has raised new questions in wound care because many of these unofficial photographs become introduced as evidence in lawsuits.

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“I Love Wound Care” Video Contest Winner!

June 28th, 2016

I Love Wound Care Video Contest

We are excited to announce the winner of the 2016 “I Love Wound Care” video contest:

★ Gina Turbeville, RN of Pamplico, SC ★

As our winner, Gina will have the opportunity to take the WCEI online Skin and Wound Management course and join our family of 29K+ passionate healers throughout the United States.

When notified about her winning video, Gina responded, “I am so excited about wound care and want to be educated so that I can make a difference, especially to geriatric patients! Can’t wait to begin my education so that I can be the best I can be!”
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Let’s Talk Ostomy Types

June 16th, 2016

(Adapted from About Ostomies: Ostomy 101 by Shield Healthcare)

A comprehensive guide to the different types of ostomies, including colostomies, ileostomies, and urostomies.

Ostomy Types

Do you know your ostomy types? There are three kinds of bowel or bladder ostomies, and with this handy guide, you can brush up on each one – including the multiple sub-types. But first, let’s cover the basics.

Ostomy Surgery

Ostomy surgery is a surgical operation that redirects body wastes through a new outside opening, called a stoma. The stoma is a new exit point created to divert feces or urine. In some cases, multiple stomas are created to divert both. The term “ostomy” is used interchangeably by patients to refer to their medical condition, their stoma, and/or the appliance used to collect waste.

Intestinal ostomies are most often performed in conjunction with: tumor removal; to permit repair of bowel injuries; congenital defects; or as a last resort, treatment in medically unmanageable cases of inflammatory bowel diseases. Indications for urinary diversion include: tumor removal; congenital or nerve defects; or injuries that take away voluntary bladder control.

Types of Ostomies

There are three types of bowel or bladder ostomies, along with multiple sub-types:

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