Author Archive

Exudate: What the Type and Quantities Tell You

Thursday, January 26th, 2023

For successful wound treatment and healing, it’s vital to understand the different types of exudate and how much is present.

Ooze. Pus. Secretion. The drainage that seeps out of wounds can go by many names, but as wound care clinicians, you know the technical term is exudate. This liquid is produced by the body in response to tissue damage and tells you all you need to know about the wound.

Dianna Dashner, DNP, FNP-C, WCC, CLNC, LLE, Senior Nurse Practitioner at ProMedica Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation said it’s important to know the type and amount of exudate because this will direct the type of treatment.

“For example, the use of a calcium alginate necessitates moderate to heavy exudate,” she said. “If the wound has purulent drainage, you will want to thoroughly cleanse the wound to remove all the exudate and then culture the wound.” She added that if an infection is suspected and there is moderate to heavy drainage, a calcium alginate with silver may be a good choice for treatment. Her example highlights the significance that the amount and type of exudate makes in wound treatment.

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Diabetes Wounds: Caring for Foot Ulcers and Other Wounds

Wednesday, November 16th, 2022

Diabetes wounds can be some of the most challenging to treat, even for the most experienced wound care professionals. As the prevalence of diabetes continues to grow, with 38% of U.S. adults having prediabetes, whether you are new to wound care or a seasoned professional, you will most likely encounter patients with diabetes on an increasing basis.

The American Diabetes Association recognizes November as American Diabetes Month, and as of 2022, diabetes has affected 37.3 million people in the United States. Having diabetes can complicate and delay the healing process of any type of wound, including pressure injuries, venous ulcers, arterial ulcers, or trauma wounds.

However, diabetes wounds can be especially pervasive, as they are known to be slow to heal, and there are numerous reasons why. One reason is that the cells most responsible for healing cannot correctly function when the patient has elevated blood sugars or has developed hyperglycemia with an increased risk for arterial disease.

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Managing Pressure Injuries: 6 Key Considerations

Wednesday, October 19th, 2022

Wound care is an exciting specialty that requires continuous learning.

With various wound types and multiple wound care products and treatments available, clinicians strive to stay up to date on evidence-based practices to ensure they are providing patients with current standards of care.

Managing pressure injuries is one area of wound care that many wound care professionals encounter regularly, as they are pervasive across the healthcare continuum.

Whether you work in home health, acute care, or long-term care, you should be aware of some key concepts when managing pressure injuries, as explained by Don Wollheim, MD, FAPWCA, WCC, DWC.

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Treating Pediatric Burns Takes Skills and Sensitivity

Saturday, December 11th, 2021

Knowledgeable wound care clinicians are needed not only for adults but for the pediatric population too. Burns are common injuries incurred by children. We spoke with two experts to learn more about this important area of wound care for pediatric burns.

Stats on Pediatric Burns

“Burns are a leading cause of death and disability for children worldwide,” said Tina Palmieri MD, FACS, FCCM, Assistant Chief of Burns at Shriners Hospital for Children Northern California and Burn Division Chief at the University of California, Davis.

In the U.S., the stats are staggering. “Nearly each week in 2018 in the U.S. alone, approximately six children aged 0-19 died, 139 were hospitalized, and 1,762 were taken to the emergency room due to fire and burn injuries,” said Palmieri.

According to the American Burn Association Fact Sheet, 24% of all burn injuries occur in children under the age of 15, said Jenna Leach MSN, RN, WCC, plastic surgery specialty nurse at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware.

Palmieri pointed out risk factors for pediatric fire and burn deaths are: (more…)

How Do You Treat a Malignant Wound? Let’s Look at the Options

Monday, November 8th, 2021

Wounds can present in patients as a result of various etiologies. One cause of wounds not typically on most clinicians’ radars are wounds that result from primary tumors.

We spoke with Joni Brinker, MSN/MHA, RN, WCC, an Ohio-based consultant and clinical nurse educator with Optum Hospice Pharmacy Services of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and speaker for WCEI’s Wild on Wounds (WOW) national conference, to gain insight on malignant wounds that can develop from primary tumors.

What Is a Malignant Wound?

“A malignant wound is a manifestation of malignant (cancerous) cells that have infiltrated through the skin,” said Brinker.

Other structures such as blood and lymphatic vessels also can be invaded by malignant cells and produce wounds, she said.

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The Best Wound Care Certification to Have — Comparing Options

Saturday, October 30th, 2021

If you’re currently working in wound care or contemplating moving into it as your new specialty, you may want to consider becoming certified.

Why? The skills of certified wound care clinicians are in great demand.

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Pediatric Patients Require Special Wound Care

Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

Pediatric patients with chronic and acute wounds need caregivers who are well-versed in wounds and in young patients’ unique needs. We spoke with three pediatric wound care experts to learn more about the most common wounds seen in kids, their etiologies, treatments, and recommendations for making dressing changes less traumatic.

 Acute Wounds Seen in Pediatric Patients

Pediatric patients can need treatment for a wide range of wounds. In fact, the list is quite extensive, according to experts.

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A Look at the UT and Wagner Scale Diabetic Foot Ulcer Classification Systems

Thursday, August 19th, 2021

Given the fact that DFUs occur in approximately 15% of patients with diabetes and there are more than 34 million people in the U.S. with diabetes, using a relevant diabetic foot ulcer classification system for patients is essential.

There are several diabetic wound classification systems. But how do you choose which one to use?

This decision generally involves clinician preference along with the organization’s policy.

Two wound care specialists provide an overview of two systems for DFU classification: The Wagner Scale and the University of Texas (UT) Diabetic Wound Classification System.

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Necrotic Tissue: How to Identify and Treat It

Friday, July 30th, 2021

Living with necrotic tissue is challenging for patients and requires evidence-based treatments from skilled wound care clinicians to achieve improved patient outcomes. Let’s explore what it is, how to spot it, and where to go from there.

What Is Necrotic Tissue?

First, what is necrotic tissue and necrosis? The term necrosis stems from the Greek work nekros, which means death.

“Necrosis is a loose term, and it can appear in two ways – under a microscope and grossly viewed with the naked eye,” said Brian Gastman, MD, Surgical Director of Melanoma and High-Risk Skin Cancer Program at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland and Professor in the Department of Surgery at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland.

When tissue is necrotic, there is a loss of tissue integrity, he said. “The tissue becomes discolored, there is fluid and exudative material present, and it becomes fodder for bacterial colonization.”

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Wound Care Nurse Salary and How Some Skills Can’t Be Monetized

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021

If you’re a nurse with a passion for skin and wound care, you may want to consider expanding your professional marketability by becoming wound care certified.

Average Salary for a Certified Wound Care Nurse

So how much do wound care nurses make? According to some online sources for wound care nurse salary data, the average annual wound care nurse salary ranges from $47,000 to $86,000 and an average annual wound care nurse salary at just over $69,000.

Keep in mind that salaries for wound care nurses can vary greatly from the annual rates, depending on a few other factors, including the state and city you in which you practice, your level of education, the size of the organization, and whether or not you have wound care certification. All of these play a role in your earning potential.

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