Posts Tagged ‘advances in wound care’

What’s New in Wound Care? Meet Our Fantastic Four

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Check out these four new and cutting-edge wound treatments that’ll have you excited and ready for the future.

What’s New in Wound Care? Meet Our Fantastic Four

 

When it comes to wound care, there are some incredible developments in progress that might just blow your mind. In fact, these new products and treatments are so cutting-edge, they sound like they’re straight out of science a fiction movie or super hero comic book. What are they and why are we so excited?

Meet the Fantastic Four

Clinicians know that healing chronic wounds is especially challenging due to a variety of barriers and patient co-morbidities. Fortunately, advanced treatments and technologies facilitate the care of these wounds and promote healing. These advancements are having a positive impact in terms of shortened healing times and reduced hospital stays.

Ready for some impressive examples? Let’s take a look at four fantastic new wound treatments that are either in the experimental or trial phase, and will hopefully be a part of our wound-care future.

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12 Wound Care Fun Facts

Friday, 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.

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Cancer Patient’s Husband Invents Device to Help Others

Friday, 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.

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Pressure Injuries? (Don’t) Say It Ain’t So!

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

Mounting pressure to call pressure injuries (aka pressure ulcers) something else has caused a stir – and clinicians in wound care are feeling the heat. Find out why.

Pressury Injuries - Don't Say It Ain't So

One of the most basic principles of healing a wound is to determine the cause – and then remove it. It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? But this is easier said than done, as many wounds have similar characteristics, and we don’t always have all the facts at our disposal in order to pinpoint the cause.

Unfortunately, this process has become further – and unnecessarily – complicated, thanks to increasing pressure (no pun intended) on wound clinicians to name a pressure injury something else. See? We told you it was complicated. Here’s what you need to know.

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Ouch! Let’s Talk About Skin Tears

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

This WCEI free webinar will help wound care professionals understand more about skin tears, including how to treat and prevent them (and help patients heal).

Skin Tears - Prevention and Management

If you’ve ever suffered a significant skin tear, then you know how painful they can be. The inevitable bleeding (and sometimes even disfigurement) during the healing process can take a toll, both physically and emotionally. So you can imagine how awful it would be to experience this same cycle of pain, over and over again.

Unfortunately, skin tears are a common occurrence with institutionalized patients (particularly in older adults), and often lead to further complications. In fact, a reported 1.5 million skin tears occur in this population each year, and that doesn’t even include unreported incidents occurring at home.

But we’re here to help, thanks to our own WCEI Clinical Instructor Gail Hebert, and her presentation at the 2015 Wild on Wounds National Conference in Las Vegas, “How To: Skin Tears – Prevention and Management.” In this free webinar (see access code below), you can listen to her recorded session and arm yourself with the latest information about skin tear treatment, prevention and management. You can also help to bring the number of annual skin tears down while protecting patients and helping support the facilities in which you work.

 

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

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

Ready to learn?

So what exactly is a skin tear? As Hebert explains in the webinar, it’s a traumatic wound caused by shear, friction and/or blunt force trauma that results in either a partial or full thickness injury. And while skin tears certainly occur, to think they are inevitable is short-sighted.

“Our role is to make sure we’ve done everything we can to minimize their occurrences,” says Hebert. “Not just by accepting that skin tears happen and move on, but to work hard at all the variables that can be controlled, so skin tears can be the exception rather than the rule.”

Through Hebert’s webinar, you will learn so much more about skin tears, including:

  • How to identify risks for skin tears and skin tear category classifications.
  • Current evidence-based recommendations for accurate skin tear assessment, prediction, treatment and prevention strategies.
  • Forms and tools you can put to use immediately.

“Skin tears are considered to be negative patient outcomes,” adds Hebert. “So in terms of your facility’s reputation, you don’t want to be known as a place where an excessive number of skin tears take place.” In other words, if people wonder if your facility is doing everything it can to prevent them, you want to be able to respond with a resounding, “Yes!”

 

What people have to say

Those who were able to attend Hebert’s session in person last summer at the WOW Conference had plenty of feedback to share. Here’s a sample:

 

 “Who knew there was enough on this subject matter to actually speak on it for one whole hour? It was great!”

“Excellent speaker, and was happy to hear that I was caring for skin tears in the right manner! Now I can go back to my facilities and students, and pass this information on! Thank you so much! Very engaging speaker!”

“This was a great review for me. I used last year’s skin tear outline to help build our skin tear policy, so I truly appreciate the updated outlines provided with this lecture.”

 

Go ahead, take the skin-tear plunge!

Are you ready to learn more about skin tears and put into practice your newfound knowledge?  Click here and use the code SKINTEARS to access this 60-minute recording, which qualifies for an education credit.

 

 

Tell us your stories

Have you made improvements in your own facility when it comes to skin-tear prevention? What were they, and what results have you noticed? Do you have any other suggestions for skin-tear treatment, prevention or assessment? Leave your comments below.

 

Wound Care Education Institute® provides online and 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®). For more information see wcei.net.

Floating Heels: More Than Just Pillow Talk

Friday, November 20th, 2015

The way you float the heels matters: new guidelines mean better patient care and lower risk of citations.

Floating Heels

When it comes to wound care, the term “float the heels” means that a patient’s heel should be positioned in such a way as to remove all contact between the heel and the bed. So given this context, is the following statement true or false?

Patients on support surfaces do not require their heels to be floated. 

If you guessed false, then give yourself a gold star. Yes, all patients at risk of breakdown, and those with pressure ulcers on the heel, must have their heels totally offloaded.  This requirement has not changed.

But here’s the catch – what has changed is the manner in which we should be accomplishing this.

Official Floating Heels Guidelines

Traditionally, the most common approach to floating the heels has been by placing pillows under the lower leg, positioned so as not to place pressure on the Achilles tendon and the heel.  Unfortunately, there has always been a problem with this method.

While you might position your patients perfectly in bed, with heels properly floated, the chances that they’ll remain perfectly still once you’re gone is slim to none. Patients naturally move and reposition themselves for comfort, which means upon returning, you will most likely find that the legs and heels are no longer in that same position.

This repositioning is a common occurrence, and leaves your patients vulnerable to the forces of friction, shear and pressure on the heel.  This traditional heel-floating technique often leads to unnecessary heel breakdown, and a failure to protect our patients properly. Additionally, facilities may be cited for floating Stage III heel ulcers on a pillow.

So what’s the official word on the subject? The 2014 International Guidelines on the Prevention and Treatment of Pressure Ulcers tell us that:

  • You can continue to float the heels with pillows under the full length of the calf for short-term use in alert and cooperative individuals.
  • For individuals with Stage I or II pressure ulcers on the heel, you can float the heels, or use a heel suspension device.
  • For individuals with Stage III, Stage IV or Unstageable pressure ulcers, heel suspension devices are strongly recommended.

What is a proper heel suspension device?

First of all, let’s talk about what a heel suspension device is not. A padded bootie (the kind we’ve used for years) simply doesn’t qualify.  Padding will never offload the tissues, it will only serve to somewhat cushion the skin.

What you do need is a lower leg boot specifically constructed to place the heel in a cup-like device that does not allow the heel any contact at all with any surface.   Patients can then reposition themselves in bed without fear of losing the pressure offload.  Some devices also have stabilization bars that can be used to prevent outward or inward rotation of the lower extremity.   When selecting a heel suspension device, it’s important to assess how much heat and humidity will be trapped on the skin underneath the boot.  This is a potential issue, since heat and humidity on the skin can predispose it to breakdown.

Is this a legal matter?

Wound care clinicians often ask if these revised techniques are lawfully required. The short answer is no, they are not. But – and it’s a big but -it is not uncommon for lawyers to refer to these guidelines in court, and question whether practices were in accordance with these standards.

So if you or your practice were subjected to such inquiries in a court setting, would you want your reply to be no? Of course not.  Citing ignorance when it comes to the change in heel-floating standards will not excuse wound care clinicians from the consequences.

Have you changed your practice to reflect these new guidelines? 

As responsible wound-care professionals, we know the use of heel suspension devices is the best way to offload.  And because current guidelines support this, if your practice hasn’t already done so, it’s time to implement them now.

Are heel suspension devices already used in your work setting? If so, have you seen a noticeable difference in patient care, compared to the traditional use of pillows and positioning? If not, do you have plans to foster change within your practice? We’re curious to hear your stories. Please leave your comments below.

Five Wound Care Myths That Need to Go Away

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

Myths Header

 

The field of wound care has come a long way. And with over 25,000 WCEI alumni across the country sharing their skills and knowledge, we’re thrilled to see many outdated notions and practices go by the wayside. Unfortunately, there are still some wound care myths out there that just refuse to die. Here are five of the most frequent incorrect statements we still hear about out in the field.

Myth #1: Wet-to-dry dressings are cheaper to use.

Not only is wet-to-dry substandard care (as we discuss in Wet-to-Dry Dressings: Why Not?), it’s not even cost-effective.

Here’s the math: The daily cost of care for a foam dressing is only $3.55. The daily cost of wet-to-dry is $12.26. Why the big difference? Wet-to-dry dressings require frequent changes, and each dressing change causes a drop in wound temperature.  In order for a wound to heal, it should be close to normal body temperature. So if there is a 2⁰ C drop in temperature, this will slow or stop healing, and it can take up to four hours for that wound to warm up and get back to get back to normal healing temperature.  As we always say, “When the temperature drops, the healing stops.”

Out of all the different dressings out there, foam keeps the wound bed the warmest. And foam dressings can remain in place from 3 to 7 days, decreasing costs, labor and drops in temperature.  As always, with any dressing application, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on proper usage.

Myth #2: Bleeding in a chronic wound is a sign of healing.

“Oh, it’s bleeding! That’s good!”

No, that’s not normal or acceptable.  Sanguineous (bloody) exudate serves as a clue to bedside clinicians that you need to go in and investigate what is causing the bleeding. Start by asking:

  • Is there some sort of malignancy or trauma on the site?
  • Is there a high bioburden?
  • Is the dressing sticking to the wound and causing bleeding upon removal?

By putting on our detective hats and looking at the clues the wound is giving us, we can identify issues sooner rather than later.

Myth #3: Erythema is a sure sign of wound infection.

Erythema

Erythema in the periwound is one of the classic signs of local infection, but it’s not enough to label it as infected.  You need to see at least three signs and symptoms.  Here are some additional signs and symptoms to consider:

  • Foul odor
  • Increasing pain in the wound
  • Heat in the periwound
  • Purulent drainage
  • Edema

If you see at least three of these signs, it means you have local infection and need to immediately treat the wound topically, before it moves into a systemic infection.

Myth #4: Oral or IV antibiotics are indicated for all infected wounds.

Administer oral or IV antibiotics only if infection extends beyond the wound margin, indicating a systemic infection. In other words, you need to see signs and symptoms such as fever, an elevated white blood cell count, or red streaks emanating from the wound.

Oral antibiotics are simply not the most effective treatment for local infections. Many chronic wounds have impaired blood flow, which can compromise the delivery of oral antibiotics to that wound.  Meanwhile, the unnecessary use of antibiotics leads to the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.

So make sure you have first identified if this is a local or systematic infection.  If systematic, then you should treat with oral/IV antibiotics.

Myth #5: Clinicians are not responsible if a physician orders inappropriate treatment. 

Physician“I did it because the doctor ordered it.”

We hear this excuse all the time! Would you administer improper heart medication to a patient if you knew it was wrong?  You have to think of wound care the same way. It’s our responsibility to uphold the standards of care. If physicians are unaware of the guidelines and policies, we need to educate them.

Saying that the doctor wrote it and you merely followed orders is not going to protect you legally, and it’s certainly not in the best interest of your patient.  Always practice the current standard of care – no excuses!

What myths do you battle?

While these are some of the most common myths in wound care, we know there are more. What are some of the common misconceptions within your practice, and how to you deal with them? Have you been in a situation where you had to help educate physicians or colleagues? Please tell us about your stories below.

Is That a Rash? Maybe, Maybe Not

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

Rash“Take a look at this rash. What is it, and how should we treat it?”

Wound care specialists are often asked to evaluate rashes, and while we want to be competent and effective, sometimes we just don’t know the answer. Because, well … rashes are tricky. So what should you do, and how should you handle such situations?

 

WCEI Co-Founder Donna Sardina, RN, MHA, WCC, CWCMS, DWC, OMS

WCEI Co-Founder Donna Sardina, RN, MHA, WCC, CWCMS, DWC, OMS

Check out this free webinar

We’ve got some great answers for you straight from WCEI Co-Founder Donna Sardina, RN, who led a powerful presentation this past summer at WOW 2015 in Las Vegas. This popular session was recorded, and is now available for viewing.

The one-hour webinar, It’s Not Just a Rash! So What Is It? What Do I Do? covered common dermatological conditions in patients, its etiology, and treatment choices. And now, for a limited time only, you have the chance to learn more about rashes from the best, including:

  • How to identify some of the most common dermatological conditions that can be present on your patients.
  • Possible treatment options.
  • When to consult a dermatologist.
  • Pertinent education options for your patient.
  • Additional information about basic rashes.

Learn more about skin

“The skin is the boundary between us and the outside world,” said Sardina. “It reflects internal changes and reacts to external ones. Usually, it adapts easily and returns to a normal state, but sometimes it fails to do so and a skin disorder appears.”

Because of the large number of conditions that can manifest as a generalized rash, Sardina said it’s important to look beyond the appearance of the rash itself and search for clues to determine the cause. This can include taking a closer look at the following:

  • The patient’s history
  • A physical examination
  • Laboratory tests
  • Skin biopsy

Check out the reviews

This workshop, which qualifies for educational credit, was a huge hit with WOW attendees. Here is some feedback from a few of the attendees:

  • This was so helpful to me! I get consults for any skin issue that comes up, including rashes/lesions. The pictures and descriptions were great!
  • I get called upon to look at “rashes” all the time, and have felt a little overwhelmed with it all. But now I feel that I can more effectively identify “rashes” and help with the patient’s plan of care, but still make sure to refer out appropriately and not practice outside my scope of practice.
  • LOVED IT! Thank you so much for presenting this topic. It’s often a struggle to evaluate some of these skin conditions.

Ready to learn about rashes? Check out the one-hour WOW session and see what it’s all about (education credit available). Use coupon code: RASH15. Offer is good through Jan. 4, 2016.

Tell us what you think

What have your experiences been when it comes to your patients and their rashes? Once you enjoy the webinar, please come back and let us know what you think? What were the biggest things you learned, and how will this information help you moving forward in your place of practice? Leave your comments below.

View webinar - It's Not Just a Rash

Wild On Wounds Exhibitor Showcase Vendor Spotlight

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Scott_Miller_MPM

MPM Medical Inc. brings to you industry experts for 2 days during the WOW conference in Las Vegas on September 2-5, 2015. They will answer your questions, perform product demonstrations and provide hands on product training.  All of their sales representatives have been trained and certified as Wound Care Market Specialists (CWCMS®) by the Wound Care Education Institute®.  They offer a comprehensive line of hydrogels with lidocaine, foam dressings, moisture barriers, antifungals, calcium alginates, waterproof composite dressings, woundgard bordered gauze pad dressings, multilayer composite dressings, cleansers, saturated gauze pads and collagen and super absorbent dressings.

MPM has published a number of practical reference pieces including a definitive Wound Management Guide, Wound Care Wall Charts and clinical studies.  For information on these educational pieces visit their website at: www.mpmmedicalinc.com

Register for WOW today and stop by the MPM booth #224

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What Will You Gain by Attending WOW?  You Will…

  • Discover what is new in wound care which is essential to your practice
  • Elevate your clinical skills with interactive, advanced, how-to sessions and hands-on workshops
  • Participate in product training with industry experts to advance your knowledge of wound care technologies
  • AND MORE…

Full Conference Registration Includes:

  • Access to educational sessions over 3.5 days
  • Access to product experts during the exhibitor showcase
  • Lunch on each registered day
  • Poolside get-together with a robust buffet
  • FREE cyber cafe to check emails, complete onsite evaluations, etc.
  • Complimentary collectible event T-shirt
  • And more!

WOW2015_600x155_FREE-TICKET_BANNER

REGISTER BY MAY 1ST – PAY BY JUNE 1ST

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

RegisterNowPay_LaterHeaderSave $100 when you register by May 1, 2015  
You’ll get first choice of conference sessions and…
You don’t pay until June 1st!

Industry and Clinical experts will provide training and product demonstrations and will help answer your “hard to heal” wound questions. Join us in Las Vegas, September 2 – 5, 2015 and network with hundreds of passionate wound care clinicians with the same goal in mind, to advance their wound care knowledge.

About WOW

Wild On Wounds is a national conference dedicated to clinicians who want to enhance their knowledge and learn current standards of care in skin and wound care. Attend lecture sessions, participate in hands-on workshops and learn all the new products and technologies from industry experts.

Full Conference Registration Includes:
  • Access to educational sessions over 3.5 days
  • Access to product experts during the exhibitor showcase
  • Lunch on each registered day
  • Poolside get-together with a robust buffet dinner
  • FREE cyber cafe to check emails, complete onsite evaluations, etc.
  • Complimentary collectible event T-shirt
  • And more!

register now    send a brochure