Archive for the ‘Wound Care’ Category

Pressure injuries often result in serious punitive damages

Wednesday, February 12th, 2020
Punitive damages can be serious in pressure injury rulings.

Pressure injuries should be avoided at all costs. 

The costs of pressure injuries are numerous, but one area of major concern is when their existence results in a lawsuit. These suits typically allege the pressure injury was the result of poor nursing and overall care of the patient and/or resulted in a patient’s death.

Jacqueline Genesio identifies several lawsuits that resulted in significant verdicts in the article “Pressure Ulcers Are Easy Pickings For Lawsuits.”

As she points out, not only can a verdict result in compensatory damages (money paid to compensate the patient for pain and suffering and lost wages, as examples), but also can include punitive damages.

In one 2015 case, Genesio reported an Arizona jury awarded $2.5 million in compensatory damages and $16.7 million in punitive damages to the estate of an 86-year-old woman.

(more…)

How to prevent and treat wounds in skin folds

Wednesday, February 5th, 2020
skin folds

Wounds in skin folds can be a challenge to prevent and, once present, involve ongoing surveillance and care.

Donald Wollheim, MD, FAPWCA, WCC, DWC, a board-certified surgeon of the American Board of Surgery, shared his insight on best practices for preventing and treating wounds in skin folds if they develop.

As a clinical instructor with our Wound Care Education Institute (WCEI), Wollheim has 25 years of experience in general/vascular surgery and 13 years of experience as a wound care specialist, educator and case reviewer.

(more…)

Explore our new financing option to take WCEI courses today

Wednesday, January 29th, 2020
A man applies for financing on his computer.

If your goal is to become wound care certified, we can help.

At the Wound Care Education Institute (WCEI), we’re now offering flexible, low-cost financing to take your course.

The new financing option is provided in partnership with Affirm, Inc.

For learners who qualify, a special offer of 0% interest for 12 months is in effect for those who apply for the student loan on or before Feb. 29, 2020, said Janene Brubaker, senior product manager with Relias, the parent company of the WCEI.

This new loan program is an alternative to credit cards and personal loans, and you will know within minutes if you have received approval.

(more…)

Study: Pressure injuries at ICU admission predict outcomes

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020
A senior patient holds a nurses' hand in the ICU.

Pressure injuries are a pervasive problem.

They present a real cost for patients physically, psychologically and monetarily. Plus, pressure injuries have an annual financial burden estimated at $11 billion per year in the U.S., especially in the ICU.

A study published in June 2019 by the journal Critical Care Nurse reports pressure injuries present at ICU admission are associated with longer hospital stays. They also have a modest association with higher in-hospital mortality rates.

“I was looking for an unambiguous clinical marker that could predict patient outcomes and mortality in ICU patients,” said William T. McGee, MD, MHA, associate professor of medicine and surgery at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

He said different modeling tools try to predict outcomes and mortality in ICU patients, but they are not used routinely for all patients at all hospitals.

(more…)

Acetic acid and Dakin’s solution: Are they proper wound care today?

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020
Dakin's solution and acetic acid can help minimize bacterial infections

We must ensure we provide wound care treatments based on solid medical rationale and science or clinical evidence. 

This applies to wound care clinicians, especially certified wound care clinicians, and includes all aspects of wound care — even applying Dakin’s solution and acetic acid.

Unfortunately, in my 25 years of wound care experience, I still see many practices that do not meet those criteria. I am guilty too.

Back in the early days of my wound care career, I promoted practices that didn’t meet those criteria because I trusted the clinicians teaching me were doing the right thing. 

However, I began to question things as my knowledge grew. After doing the research, I was shocked to learn some tried-and-true practices weren’t so tried and true after all.

In this blog post, we delve into one of those methods — the use of Dakin’s solution and acetic acid in wound care.

(more…)

Colostomy care for inmates is important to maintain wellness

Wednesday, January 8th, 2020
An inmate with a colostomy holds prison bars

We often talk about ostomy care, including the different ostomy types.  

When I was doing research for this blog, it was surprising how many reported cases exist in which colostomy care was the basis of federal lawsuits filed by inmates in various penal settings throughout the United States.

Other recipients of healthcare not in a penal setting have filed such lawsuits as well.

Simply doing an online case law search for “stoma nursing care” or “ostomy nursing care” yields a number of interesting results.

One prisoner’s colostomy care became an issue in a case he filed against the Missouri Department of Corrections (MDOC) in Crew v. Russell.

(more…)

How a wound care app can complement your practice

Wednesday, January 1st, 2020
A doctor uses a wound care app on a tablet at the hospital

More wound care clinicians are using wound care apps when treating their patients.

Some clinicians use them on their own as an adjunct to the requirements of their employers. Others use a specific wound care app because it’s integrated in their employer’s electronic medical record systems.

Use of wound care apps is standard operating procedure and mandated when caring for wound patients.

Whatever category you find yourself in as a wound care clinician, here is a quick overview of three popular wound care apps for clinicians and one for patients.

These will keep you up to date on what’s out there in the world of wound care apps.

(more…)

Traumatic open wounds: Let’s define the types

Wednesday, December 25th, 2019
A girl has a Bandaid on her knee covering an open wound.

Learn the difference between the types of open wounds caused by trauma.

Open wound types include abrasions, excoriation, skin tears, avulsions, lacerations and punctures, according to our Skin and Wound Management course workbook.

Traumatic open wounds involve a disruption in the integrity of the skin and underlying tissues caused by mechanical forces. In other words, these wounds are caused by brief but forceful contact with another object or surface.

Differentiating the types of traumatic open wounds involves noting the shape and depth, as well as the nature of the mechanical force that caused it.

Below, we outline six acute, traumatic open wounds that are commonly confused.

(more…)

Compression therapy: Why patients might become nonadherent

Wednesday, December 18th, 2019
A woman puts on her compression stockings on an airplane.

Many clinicians encounter patients who follow their plans of care regarding compression therapy without question or delay.

Other clinicians, however, can find themselves dealing with patients who appear unwilling to adhere to their compression plans.

Wound care clinicians may at times scratch their heads and wonder why some patients are nonadherent with their therapy.

Understanding why some patients are nonadherent and taking action to help improve adherence can increase the likelihood of reaching both short- and long-term goals and improve outcomes.

(more…)

Adjunctive modalities apply when wound care basics aren’t enough

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019
Clinicians discuss adjunctive modalities to treat a wound.

Have you ever felt like you may have run out of options to heal a wound?

We have all been there in our wound care careers. Before you throw in the towel or pull your hair out in frustration, take a step back and make sure you started the process in the correct manner.

First, ensure you have successfully addressed all the basics of wound healing:

  • Removed the cause
  • Provided moist wound healing
  • Removed the necrotic tissue and epibole
  • Managed the bioburden
  • Ensured adequate tissue perfusion
  • Ensured adequate nutrition

Then review treatments that can accelerate the healing process. You have to build your treatment plan on a solid foundation of basic approaches before considering more expensive, adjunctive modalities. 

(more…)