Wound Detective Series: Is It (Or Is It Not) Infected?

January 13th, 2017

How can you tell if a wound is really infected? Learn how to spot the clues and be a skilled wound investigator.

Is it infected?

 

Are you ready, wound detectives, to tackle a new case? This time, we’re learning how to spot the clues that reveal infection. Remember, the wound will tell us what we need to know, we just have to pay careful attention and know what to look for. After all, treatment depends primarily on our clinical assessment (and then a wound culture, if indicated). Sharpen up those investigative skills, and let’s get to work.

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Stomas: What You Need to Know

January 6th, 2017

There are two main types of stomas, and they both have certain “ideal” characteristics in common. Do you know what they are?

Stomas: What You Need to Know

 

You say potato, I say potahto. You say ostomy, I say … stoma. Huh? Those of us in wound care know that it’s not uncommon to hear the terms ostomy and stoma used interchangeably, even though they have different meanings.

In the WCEI blog, “Let’s Talk Ostomy Types,” we described the types and sub-types of bowel and bladder ostomy surgeries. Now, we’re focusing on an aspect of ostomies that wound care professionals experience directly in practice: the stoma.
 
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Your Favorite WCEI Blogs of 2016

December 30th, 2016

Did you miss any WCEI blogs?  Never fear, we wrap up the year with the topics that were most read, shared, and commented upon.

Your Favorite WCEI Blogs of 2016

In 2016, we covered a lot of ground, bringing you straight talk on range of wound care topics, including ostomy care, diabetic wounds, legal issues, assessment tips, and more. Which were readers’ top five favorites? Here’s the run-down.

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Wound Care Minute: What’s the Difference Between Excoriation and Denuded Skin?

December 24th, 2016

Excoriation vs. Denuded: WCEI co-founder Nancy Morgan discusses these often-confused wound care terms

 

 

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The RATS of Malpractice: Don’t Let Them Invade Your Wound Care Practice!

December 16th, 2016

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

The new year is quickly approaching, and most of us are reflecting and setting goals for 2017. Here’s a simple plan that outlines what you must do to minimize the risks of practice.

The RATS of Malpractice in Wound Care

 

As wound care practitioners, our main goal is to heal wounds as quickly and painlessly as possible. Over the years, this simple mission has gotten tied up in countless legal matters as disappointed patients and their families turn to attorneys when things don’t work out. Follow this outline of what to do to minimize the risks of practice in the new year.

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Ankle-Brachial Index? It’s Easier Than You Think

December 7th, 2016

Determining a patient’s ABI is a vital part of wound care, but unfortunately this step is often avoided … or even omitted. Here’s why this happens, and how you can change it.

Ankle-Brachial Index? It’s Easier Than You Think
Have you ever faced a seemingly daunting task, and so you do everything in your power to avoid it? Like renewing a driver’s license, for example. Or maybe cleaning out the refrigerator. But then once it’s done, you look back and say, “Hey, that wasn’t so bad!”

That’s kind of how it is when it comes to determining a patient’s ankle-brachial index (ABI). While this is a key component of the lower-extremity vascular exam, it’s often overlooked – and even omitted – just because it seems so overwhelming. Hang in there, folks: we’re here to help make it easier.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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