Wound photos can help determine a clinician’s legal liability

October 16th, 2019
A clinician documents wound photos on a company phone.

In many instances, wound care involves pressure wounds, such as decubiti and poor vascular conditions, such as diabetic foot wounds.

In the following case, the improper administration of chemotherapy agents through an IV line caused a wound that resulted in severe pain and limited the use of two fingers on the patient’s non-dominant hand.

Key evidence in the trial were wound photos of the open wound that occurred because of the negligent administration of chemotherapy by two nurses who were named defendants in the suit — Iacano v. St. Peter’s Medical Center.

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How to treat diabetic foot ulcers with a total contact cast

October 10th, 2019
A man sits with his total contact cast elevated on a chair.

There are times when clinicians and patients have done all they can to prevent diabetic foot ulcers, and they still develop.

“The patients who develop a diabetic foot ulcer are the ones who fell through the cracks,” said Don Wollheim, MD, FAPWCA, WCC, DWC, a board-certified surgeon of the American Board of Surgery.

Wollheim has 25 years of experience in general/vascular surgery and 13 years as a wound care specialist and educator. He also is a medical-legal consultant, college science instructor and clinical instructor for the Wound Care Education Institute.

“Once a diabetic foot ulcer develops, it’s essential it is treated aggressively with proven, standardized methods, as 85% of the amputations performed on diabetic patients began as a diabetic foot ulcer,” Wollheim said.

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The truth about wound infection and treatment

October 7th, 2019
wound infection

Does it seem like clinicians are quick to assume infection in a wound requiring systemic treatment?   

The tragic part is the wound infection diagnosis is often made with a lack of proper cultures or symptoms. 

Is it because clinicians are fearful? Is it their lack of knowledge of what confirms a wound infection? 

I would say it is likely a combination of both. Instead of looking at the evidence, clinicians fall into a “we have always done it this way” approach and the patient is the one who ultimately suffers.

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Expert advice on complete decongestive therapy for lymphedema

October 2nd, 2019
lymphedema

When healthcare professionals treat patients afflicted with lymphedema, some believe not much can be done to provide relief from swollen limbs and pain.

But much can be done to redirect lymph that’s collecting in the wrong place and send it back to the lymphatic system where it belongs, said Denise Richlen, PT, WCC, DWC, CLT, director of program development and area manager in Southwest Indiana for Paragon Rehabilitation in Louisville, Ky.

Millions of patients in the U.S. suffer with lymphedema, Richlen said.

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PT embraces passion for wound care teaching

September 24th, 2019
wound care teaching

For some people, teaching is in their blood and is a big part of who they are.

Scott Batie, MPT, RPT, MEd, WCC, a clinical instructor with our Wound Care Education Institute (WCEI) for 14 years, is one of those people.

He has been involved in the teaching profession for much of his life.

During college, Batie was a wrestler. After receiving his undergraduate degree, he taught high school English while coaching a high school wrestling team.

Batie realized he loved teaching and caring for others but wanted a change of pace and profession. After some thought and consideration, he decided to pursue a degree in physical therapy.

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Is the ankle brachial index for compression therapy necessary?

September 19th, 2019
A blood pressure cuff helps determine compression therapy.

If you are OK with the status quo, then do not read any further. 

However, if you want to look at whether guidelines that have been established and promoted for years are based on evidence and science, then read on. 

For years, clinicians (including myself) have been using the ankle brachial index (ABI) as a guide to determine whether a patient is a candidate for:

  • High (therapeutic) compression
  • Low-level compression
  • No compression

It was only after listening to a colleague’s lectures on myths in wound care that inspired me to look deeper into this practice. 

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What happens when orders don’t meet wound care standards

September 11th, 2019
standards of wound care

Does your ordering clinician’s wound care knowledge rest on outdated education and assumptions?

A wound care certified physician says his peers often ignore the scientific evidence on effective treatments that form wound care standards.

This is problematic because success in wound care requires understanding basic principles and evidence.

With this in mind, we developed our multi-disciplinary course in Skin and Wound Management to build the ranks of competent, certified specialists.

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Colostomy irrigation: Learn how at WOW

September 3rd, 2019
colostomy irrigation

Wild on Wounds speaker Anita Prinz, RN, MSN, CWOCN, will share pointers this month at our national conference on colostomy irrigation as a life-changing ostomy management alternative to pouching.

One of the most important and rewarding aspects of working with ostomy patients is helping them adapt to life with a stoma.

A supportive and caring healthcare provider can make all the difference, educating patients on the best ostomy management practices for their schedule and lifestyle.

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One patient’s perspective on how to adapt to living with an ostomy bag

August 27th, 2019
living with an ostomy bag

Collin Jarvis was 21, athletic and a captain of his university’s track and cross-country teams.

He was about to enter his senior year at the University of California, Berkeley when he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.

Only eight months later, in March 2014, Jarvis’ condition unexpectedly worsened and he had to undergo an emergency colectomy.

Jarvis said he never expected to develop complications from his illness so soon. After his surgery, he found himself living a totally different life than he ever imagined — as a person with an ileostomy.

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Don’t be a wound dabbler: Proper wound care must be science based

August 19th, 2019

proper wound care

Ever wonder where clinicians come up with some of the treatments we unfortunately see in wound care today?

wound care

By Bill Richlen, PT, WCC, DWC

Does it leave you scratching your head or pulling out your hair? I am sure there are plenty of wound care examples we could discuss for hours (with plenty of laughs).

Yet that doesn’t solve the problem or change the hearts and minds of clinicians — or wound dabblers — who feel those treatments are proper wound care.

Here’s a look at a few “inappropriate” treatments I have come across in my years as a wound specialist.

Let’s dissect them to understand what the “rationale” may have been and discuss why common sense, logic and scientific evidence doesn’t support them as proper wound care.

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