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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.

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Pressure Injuries with Cartilage? Stage Away

September 14th, 2016

When it comes to wound care, staging pressure injuries with visible or palpable cartilage doesn’t have to be complicated. Here’s what to do.  

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(Photo: NPUAP copyright & used with permisson)

 

If you’ve ever treated wounds around the ear or in the area just below the bridge of the nose, you know how very little subcutaneous tissue there is. As a result, pressure injuries in these areas tend to be quite shallow, and they typically reveal cartilage.

So when encountering a pressure injury with visible or palpable cartilage, how should you stage it? We’ve got the answer.

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Your Patient Died: Should You Send the Family a Card?

September 9th, 2016

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

Bereavement care is part of the job, no matter how difficult it is to talk about death and deal with grieving family members.

Your Patient Died: Should You Send the Family a Card?

 

“Callous disregard.” These two little emotionally loaded words are how the plaintiff complaint summed up the following story from a grieving daughter named Sally.* In her deposition, Sally recounted how nice and welcoming everyone was at the nursing home when she toured it 3 years ago prior to moving her mom in. It seemed like a good place where the staff could provide the care her mom needed; care Sally was no longer able to provide for her at home as her mom’s physical and mental condition continued to worsen. Those feel-good sentiments were replaced by anger, sadness, and ultimately litigation after her mom died. When Sally was asked why she was suing, she replied that no one at the nursing home cared about her mother.

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Wound Care and Debridement: Know the BEAMS

August 26th, 2016

These five major debridement methods for wound clinicians are easy to remember (hint: BEAMS), and key to the wound healing process.

Wound Care and Debridement: Know the BEAMS

When it comes to healing chronic wounds, clinicians are all about Wound Bed Preparation, which is the process of removing local barriers to wound healing. A key to this process is debridement – the removal of necrotic, dead tissues from the wound bed.

In order to provide the best care possible for your patients, it’s important to know the differences between the two main categories and five major methods of debridement.

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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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