Archive for the ‘Diabetic Foot’ Category

What is Charcot foot?

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

What is Charcot Arthropathy? Charcot foot, as it is commonly referred to, is a chronic progressive disease of the bone and joints found in the feet and ankles of Charcot_Footour diabetic patients with peripheral neuropathy.

What leads to this Charcot foot? Having long standing diabetes for greater than 10 years is one contributing factor. Having autonomic neuropathy leads to abnormal bone formation and having sensory neuropathy causes the insensate foot, or foot without sensation and thus susceptible to trauma, this is another contributing factor. These bones in the affected foot collapse and fracture becoming malformed without any major trauma. One common malformation you see related to Charcot foot is the “rocker bottom” where there is a “bulge” on the bottom of the foot where the bones have collapsed.

Your patient with Charcot foot will present with a painless, warm, reddened and swollen foot. You may see dependent rubor, bounding pedal pulses, and feel or hear crackling of the bones when moving the foot. If a patient were to continue to bear weight on the Charcot foot there is a high chance for ulceration that could potentially lead to infection and/or amputation.offloading_devices

Continued, on-going weight-bearing can result in a permanently deformed foot that is more prone to ulceration and breakdown. Prompt treatment is necessary using total contact casting, where no weight bearing will occur on the affected foot for 8-12 weeks. Our job as wound care clinicians is good foot assessment with prompt identification and treatment of this acute Charcot foot to prevent foot deformity and further complications in the diabetic patient.

 

Diabetic Patient Education

Monday, December 29th, 2014

Patient education plays a vital role in positive outcomes for our diabetic patient. Diabetic patients need to understand the importance of proper foot care and importance of good blood glucose control to maintain the integrity of their feet.

So what do our patients need to know? They need to work closely with their physician and the dietician to be sure their blood glucose levels are properly controlled. foot_mirror_between_toesThe ADA recommends an A1c below 7%.  They need to know how important it is to check their feet daily to catch any problems early. We as clinicians need to teach them how to do this and what to look for. Teach your diabetic patients to inspect their feet everyday. They can do this by having family members or caregivers check their feet, or they can use a mirror and do it themselves.

Explain to your patients what exactly they are looking for; cuts, sores, red spots, swelling, infected toenails, blisters, calluses, cracks, excessive dryness or any other abnormality. They should check all surfaces of the feet and toes carefully, at the same time each and every day. Explain to your patients to call their physician right away if they notice any abnormalities or any open areas. Other problems the diabetic patient should be aware of with their feet and report to their physician include tingling or burning sensation, pain in the feet, cracks in the skin, a change in the shape of their foot, or lack of sensation – they might not feel warm, cold, or touch. The patient should be aware that any of the above could potentially lead to diabetic foot ulcers.

Instruct your patients to wash their feet every day, but not soak their feet. Use warm, NOT hot water – be sure they check the water temperature with a thermometer or shoe_fittheir elbow. Dry feet well, especially between toes. Apply lotion on the tops and bottoms of their feet but not between toes. Trim toenails each week and as needed after bath / shower, trim nails straight across with clippers, smooth edges with emery board.

Wear socks and shoes at all times, the diabetic patient should never be barefoot, even indoors. Have them check their shoes prior to wearing, be sure there are no objects inside and the lining is smooth.  Instruct them to wear shoes that protect their feet; athletic shoes or walking shoes that are leather are best, be sure they fit their feet appropriately and accommodate the foot width and any foot deformities.

For our diabetic patients, glucose control is a key factor in keeping them healthy, but patient education and understanding of proper foot inspection and what findings to report to their physician are just as important for the well being of our diabetic patient.

Free Webinar “How-To: Diabetic Foot Exam Made Easy”. Use Promo Code: DFOOT  through 12/31/15.

Tips for Trimming Those Diabetic Toenails

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Make sure you have the proper tools. A set of toenail nippers, nail file, and orange stick are typically used.  Always follow your facility or healthcare’s settings policy for nail clip blog imagesinfection control. Single use disposable equipment is favorable.
Nails are easiest to trim after they have soaked for 10 minutes in a footbath to soften them. It is important to remember and educate our patients that the soaking of a diabetic patients feet should only be done by a healthcare professional. You can save some time by cleaning under the patient’s toenails with an orange stick wiping on a clean washcloth in between each toe while the feet are soaking.
After soaking and washing of the feet are completed, dry the patient’s feet completely. Wash your hands and put on new gloves to trim the toenails. Use your dominant hand to hold the nipper. Start with the small toe and work your way medial toward the great toe. Squeeze the nipper to make small nips to cut along the curve of the toenail. Be careful not to cut the skin. Use your index finger to block any flying nail fragments. Nippers are used like a pair of scissors – make small cuts, never cut the nail in one clip all the way across the nail. Never use two hands on the nipper. The nail is trimmed in small clips in a systematic manner. The nail should be cut level with the tips of the toes, never cut so short or to break the seal between the nail and the nail bed. The shape of the nail should be cut straight across and an emery board should be used to slightly round the edges. When filing nails always use long strokes in one direction, avoid using a back and forth sawing motion.
When all toes have been trimmed and filed, remove gloves and wash hands. Apply clean gloves and apply lotion to the top of the foot and to the bottom of the feet, rubbing lotion in well, wipe excess lotion off with a towel. Put patients socks and shoes back on as needed. Wash your hands again and smile, you are done!

FREE WEBINAR:  Skin and Nail Changes in the Diabetic Foot.  Click Here and use coupon code: NAILS through 12/31/15.

 

 

A Stinky Situation: When Wound Odor is a Problem

Monday, November 10th, 2014

You may have become desensitized to it, but If your patient has odor in the wound bed, consider it a problem that you need to fix.

A Stinky Situation: When Wound Odor is a Problem

 

As healthcare clinicians, in a way, we are lucky.  We become desensitized to things we encounter over and over again, they just don’t bother us like the first time we were exposed. This stands true for those wounds with odor. We almost become immune, yes we are aware the odor is there; but to our noses it is not an issue. The real issue is for our patients and their friends and family. Odor is subjective. Depending on the patient and family members ability, they may be very much aware of the odor. It can be very bothersome to the patient and their loved ones. The patient maybe embarrassed by it, and may try to self-isolate. They may not want to have people around them because of the way their wound smells. This is something as wound care clinicians we need to fix.

The first thing we need to look at is, what is causing the odor? Is it from necrotic tissue that supports the growth of anaerobic bacteria? Is it from a high level of wound exudate? Is there an actual wound infection? Do we have the wrong wound dressing on the patient?

Once we figure out the cause then we need to remove it, whether its debridement of necrotic tissue, managing the high level of exudate with dressings or using Negative Pressure Wound Therapy; we need to find what works.  With an actual wound infection, treating with antimicrobial dressings or antiseptic’s/antibiotic’s are a must to remove the organism causing the infection and the odor. Sometimes just changing the dressing more frequently will help.  Using dressings like those with activated charcoal, or those dressings with medical grade honey in them may help the wound odor. Another option is topical Metronidazole Gel to the wound bed, this may help eliminate wound odor as well.

Just because the odor in the wound bed isn’t offensive to us as wound care clinicians, doesn’t mean it isn’t offensive to others. As a rule, if your patient has odor in the wound bed, consider it a problem that you need to fix.

 

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 Ulcers – Identification and Treatment

Monday, October 27th, 2014
Gail Hebert RN, BS, MS, CWCN, WCC, DWC, OMS, LNHA, Clinical Instructor

Gail Hebert RN, BS, MS, CWCN, WCC, DWC, OMS, LNHA, Clinical Instructor

Don’t miss this energetic webinar brought to you by Wound Care Education Institute®:  Another popular session recorded from the Wild On Wounds National Conference and providing continuing education credit.

Chronic foot ulcers in patients with diabetes cause substantial morbidity and may lead to amputation of a lower extremity and mortality. Accurate identification of underlying causes and co-morbidities are essential for planning treatment and approaches for optimal healing. In this one-hour recorded session, Gail Hebert will review evidence-based approaches for identification and treatment of chronic neuropathic, neuro-ischemic and ischemic diabetic foot ulcerations.

Wound Care Education Institute is featuring various webinars on topics from this years’ conference.  TO REGISTER CLICK HERE or visit www.wcei.net/webinars.

 

WHY ABI?

Monday, October 20th, 2014

What exactly is an ABI?  ABI stands for Ankle Brachial Index. This is a non-invasive bedside tool that compares the systolic blood pressure of the ankle to that of Doppler_BloodPressureCuffthe arm. It is done to rule out Peripheral Arterial Disease in the lower extremities. The ABI is considered the “bedside” gold standard diagnostic test and can be done by any trained clinician in a clinic, hospital, nursing home and/or even the home care setting. All you need is a blood pressure cuff and a hand held Doppler.

Why do we do the Ankle Brachial Index or ABI?  Well, there are several reasons why we include the ABI as part of our assessment for the patient with lower extremity wounds. First of all, in order to heal a wound we have to be sure that our patient has adequate blood flow. The ABI will tell us if the patient has impaired arterial blood flow, and how significant that impairment is.  We also need to know the amount of compression that we can safely apply to the venous patient, in general the lower the patients ABI reading, the lower the amount of compression that can be safely applied.

When do I need to do the ABI? Standards of care and Guidelines dictate when we should be doing the Ankle Brachial Index. Our current standard of practice states to do the ABI: Anytime a patient has a lower extremity ulcer, when foot pulses are not clearly palpable, prior to applying compression wraps / garments or when the lower extremity ulcer is no longer healing.

What does the ABI “number” mean? First we need to be aware that not everyone’s ABI is reliable, in fact patients with diabetes or end-stage renal disease may have incompressible vessels rendering a falsely high ABI score. For these patients we use another diagnostic test called the Toe Brachial toe_cuf_wound_care_education_institutePressure Index (TBPI) instead of the ABI.  For those with ABI readings, in general as the patients ABI score decreases, this signifies that the patient has arterial disease of the lower extremity, and poor blood flow. Any patient with an abnormal reading needs a referral to a vascular specialist. Bedside interpretations of the ABI that we use as wound clinicians are: 1.0 considered a normal reading, an ABI of 0.9 indicate more venous, 0.6-0.8 indicate a mixed etiology (venous and arterial) and less than or equal to 0.5 is indicative of arterial disease of the lower extremity.

We as wound care clinicians are held to certain standards of care and must follow those guidelines established by the experts.  Performing the ABI on patients before applying compression and on patients with lower extremity ulcers is one of them.  As wound clinicians we use the ABI and our clinical assessment to help guide us into determining what type of ulcer we are dealing with so we can make appropriate referrals and develop the best treatment plan for our patients. It’s a step we can’t afford to leave out; our patient’s limb may depend on it.

 

Diabetic Foot Ulcer Assessment and Hands On Lab

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014
Donna Sardina RN, MHA, WCC, DWC, OMS

Donna Sardina RN, MHA, WCC, DWC, OMS

Do you know the components of a Diabetic Foot Exam? It is so important that all of us in wound care know the steps to preventing foot ulcers on our diabetic patients.  And that starts with a routinely scheduled comprehensive foot exam.

Donna Sardina took us through all the aspects of a comprehensive exam during the pre-conference session “Diabetic Foot Assessment.”

The key word here is comprehensive. A proper exam involves much more than just a test of sensation using a Semmes Weinstein monofilament or a tuning fork. What about skin color, texture, temperature, foot deformities, nail deformities, glucose control, and critically important perfusion status. Did you know that it is estimated that 50% of amputations in diabetics are a direct result of improper footwear? That statement gets my attention every time I hear it.

In this session we learned how to examine our patient’s footwear for signs of trouble. Included in the handouts was a document “Diabetes: Shoe Fitting Tips” that will be extremely helpful when putting our knowledge into practice. In recognition of the fact that we are not all specialists in the diabetic foot, Donna shared a “Simplified Sixty Second Foot Screen” published by Dr. Sibbald in 2012. It is a validated tool that has just 10 items on it that can be completed in less than 60 seconds. This seminar was empowering to all who attended and gave us the tools we need to make a difference in this at risk population.

DFU_exam

2014 Annual Wild On Wounds, (“WOW”) National Conference Sets Record Attendance

Friday, September 26th, 2014

For Immediate Release – PRN Newswire:

2014 Annual Wild on Wounds, (“WOW”) National Conference

Sets Record Attendance

Plainfield IL – September 29, 2014 The Wound Care Education Institute® (WCEI) successfully completed its largest “Wild on Wounds” (WOW) conference in Las Vegas, NV. WOW is fast becoming the largest fall wound care conference in the United States drawing close to 1,000 clinicians, students and industry professionals to the four day event.   Picture1

WOW is specifically designed to advance the skills and knowledge of healthcare professionals specializing in wound care.  The educational sessions and hands-on workshops help them stay on top of ‘today’s standards of care’ and teaches the latest in wound care treatments and technologies.  “I  was  overwhelmed  by  the  outpouring  of  thanks  and  gratitude  from  the attendees,” said Nancy Morgan, Cofounder of WCEI and WOW.

This conference appropriately themed “Skin is in” was held at the Rio Hotel and Convention Center, September 17-20, 2014. Highlights of the conference included:

  • Close to 1,000 practicing nurses, therapist, physicians and industry professionals who influence wound care decisions from all care environments
  • 50+ basic to advanced educational sessions
  •  20 “How-To” and “Hands-On” programs
  • Renowned speakers and industry experts
  • Live certification courses include Skin and Wound Care, Diabetic Wound Care and Ostomy Management
  • Exhibitor partners
  • Clinical poster presentations
  • Wound Care Certified (WCC®) Outstanding Achievement and Scholarship Awards

WOW 2015

Next year’s WOW conference will be held September 2-5, 2015 in Las Vegas, NV.  If you are interested in receiving more details about WOW 2015 email WCEI at info@wcei.net.

 

About the Wound Care Education Institute

WCEI provides healthcare professionals with ongoing education support and comprehensive online and nationwide onsite courses in the fields of Skin, Wound, Diabetic and Ostomy Management. 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®).   Website: www.wcei.net

47 Days to WOW Conference

Monday, August 4th, 2014

It’s not too late to register for WOW!  Don’t pass up the opportunity to network, learn and participate in some of the top wound management sessions. Jennifer talks about two of her sessions and what you can expect in this video.

Jennifer Oakley RN, WCC, CWCA, DWC, OMS, Clinical Instructor

SESSION 406

The Wound Care Quiz Connection
In this session you will have a plethora of wound care information presented in a fun and fast moving quiz format to get you and your colleagues thinking again without overloading you. Join Jennifer, test your knowledge and inspire others.
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SESSION 106
Finding Common Ground…Your Guide to Surviving Wound Care Communication ChallengesIn this session you will learn effective communication techniques that will enable you to effectively deal with the day-to-day challenges you face as a wound care clinician.
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Even our exhibitors and sponsors are getting in on the knowledge.
SESSION 702 
HANDS ON : Use of Collagenase SANTYL Ointment in Wound Bed Preparation

Amy Bruggeman NP, MS, APRN-BC

Proper wound bed preparation is crucial for wound repair to progress normally. The overall goal is to address the necrotic burden and achieve a stable wound with healthy granulation tissue.Debridement helps remove necrotic tissue, which is a key component to wound bed preparation.

This program will review wound bed preparation and the role of debridement. It will analyze evidence based medicine in the treatment of chronic wounds and it will summarize the benefits of Collagenase SANTYL® Ointment in chronic wound debridement.Don’t put it off any longer. Book your sessions today and get your hotel room ready.
See you in Vegas!
 

wcei logo

Wild on Wounds Productions, Inc.
25828 Pastoral Drive
Plainfield, Illinois 60585

Wild On Wounds National Conference Brings Back the Maggots to Las Vegas!

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014
WOW2014_MAGGOTS_758X290_BANNER
This is just one of the sessions you can enjoy at our
National Wound Conference
Session 305 
HANDS ON:
Maggot Debridement Therapy
Dr. Ronald A. Sherman, M.D., M.Sc., D.T.M.H., Director, BioTherapeutics
We are pleased to welcome back Dr. Sherman, leading expert in maggot therapy and currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of the non-profit BioTherapeutics, Education and Research (BTER) Foundation, which supports patient care, education and research in maggot therapy and the symbiotic medicine.
Taught in two sessions, this course will give you the didactic and the practical hands on education on maggot therapy. Learn about the history, current status, mechanisms of action, as well as indications and contraindications for maggot therapy. Then put all that to use when you actually learn the technical aspects of maggot debridement therapy by applying live maggot dressings to mock wounds.
This session has limited seating and fills up fast so don’t wait.
 REGISTRATION INCLUDES:
  • 3 days filled with wound care education
  • 2 days of vendor showcase exhibits
  • Lunch all 3 days with a lunch speaker on day 3
  • Party poolside with a robust buffet and drinks!
  • Complimentary collectible event T-shirt
  • and MORE!

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