Archive for the ‘Skin & Wound Management’ Category

The Pros and Cons of Wound Care Nursing

Friday, July 29th, 2022

Whether they’re just starting out in their career or looking to make a change, today’s nurses have a variety of settings and specialties to choose from. Understanding the pros and cons of wound care nursing can help determine if a particular choice is right for you.

Wound care nursing is a much-needed specialty for nearly every healthcare setting — including acute, long-term care, and home care. And unlike certain specialties, wound care nurses treat several patient populations with varying degrees of complexity and must understand how to manage different types of wounds.

Learning the pros and cons of wound care nursing will also help you understand how this role differs from other specialties you may be considering.

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COVID-19 Complicates Skin and Wound Care

Thursday, July 7th, 2022

The pandemic has brought skin and wound care challenges on many levels. One challenge is that COVID-19 can compromise the skin, leading to wounds that are harder to heal, according to Dianna Dashner, DNP, WCC, CLNC, LLE, senior nurse practitioner at ProMedica Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation.

SARS-CoV-2 infection can cause virus-mediated endothelial dysfunction, which decreases tissue tolerance, authors wrote in a paper published in the summer 2022 issue of AACN Advanced Critical Care.

Dashner said the body’s inflammatory markers remain high long after an infected person’s symptoms go away.

“Inflammation markers actually take one year from the time you’ve been infected to go back to normal. So for patients who have an autoimmune disease or an inflammatory process in their bodies from a condition they already have, their markers are going to be sky high,” said Dashner, who is presenting “COVID’s Impact on the Skin: A Look at What We Know” at the September Wild on Wounds conference in Hollywood, Florida. The conference explores skin and wound care challenges and provides hands-on learning opportunities.

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Wound Debridement Basics: The 5 Major Methods Explained

Friday, June 24th, 2022

What is Debridement?

Wound debridement is the removal of necrotic, dead tissue from the wound bed. It also plays a vital role in the tissue management concept of wound bed preparation. Wound bed preparation is the comprehensive approach we use to get our chronic wounds to heal. There are two main categories of debridement: selective and non- selective. Selective methods are when only necrotic, non-viable tissue is removed from the wound bed. Non-selective methods remove both necrotic tissue and viable living tissue.

The 5 Major Debridement Methods

These five major debridement methods for wound clinicians are easy to remember (BEAMS), and key to the wound healing process. Debridement methods can be categorized under two main types.

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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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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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Maximizing At-Home Wound Care for Patients

Monday, September 13th, 2021

Having worked in the home health industry for almost 10 years, I learned a lot about how to maximize my impact with wound care patients. I’ve also learned how to help the home health agency become financially efficient and still have good wound healing outcomes.

My goal is to share some general insights on how different therapies are an important part of at-home wound care plans for patients in the home health setting, as well as offer some suggestions on how to manage wound care in the most cost-efficient way.

Keep in mind that each state practice act may be different. In general, physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) can provide similar services in the treatment of wounds. However, they also bring unique differences.

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Unpacking the Fundamentals of Burn Wounds

Wednesday, August 25th, 2021

As a wound care clinician, you may be called to work in a burn unit or be consulted on burn wounds. If that is not your normal work setting, it can be overwhelming.

Our purpose in this article is to address the fundamentals and provide a solid working knowledge of how to manage burn wounds.

Let’s start with terminology. The American Burn Association changed the classification of burns from the traditional first-, second-, third-, and fourth-degree burns to the following:

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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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Let’s Walk Through the Stages of Wound Healing

Wednesday, August 4th, 2021

When teaching, I often get the question “What’s my role in the different stages of wound healing?”

To address this common question, I thought a review of basic wound physiology and the clinicians’ role during each of the stages of wound healing (aka phases of wound healing) would be helpful.

We know that the four phases of wound healing are driven by a mixture of chemical stimuli (growth factors and cytokines). Any diminished or excessive levels of these different chemicals can have a negative impact on the wound healing process. The phases are continuous and overlap each other to some extent. However, they must occur in a particular sequence to result in a healed wound.

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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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