Archive for the ‘Wound care’ Category

I’m going to conference! Are you?

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Donna_headshotBy: Donna Sardina, RN, MHA, WCC, CWCMS, DWC, OMS

Years ago, when I first started out in the wound care specialty, the only way to learn about new products and what was going on in the field was to “go to conference” (wound care conference). All year long, planning and excitement continued to build for our big trip. Not going wasn’t an option; our facility, patients, and administrators needed us to attend. If we didn’t, we’d be way behind our competition in regard to cutting-edge, hot-off-the-press wound care treatments and techniques.

Besides being a forum for displaying new wound care products, conference is an opportunity to network, to see what others are doing—what’s working and what isn’t— and to hear firsthand from researchers.

Living in the digital age has changed things for us. We’re blessed to have innovative information at our fingertips whenever we connect to the Web via computer, smartphone, or tablet. Manufacturers’ websites, government guidelines, and social media sites can keep us informed of what’s hot and happening if we just take the time to check them.

But as glorious as the Web is, I still believe in the power of attending conference. Some things are just meant to be seen, touched, and experienced—live and in person. Being in a convention hall with hundreds or even thousands of clinicians who love the same icky, yucky, stinky, and sometimes-nauseating challenge of wound management is something you just can’t experience on the Web. The power of passion, excitement, and inspiration from others is so contagious.

It’s understandable that money and time constraints play a big part in decisions to attend conference. Nonetheless, I believe all wound and ostomy experts should figure out a way to go to conference every year, or at least every other year. Here are some creative ideas for funding your conference expenses:

Educational grants from suppliers
State or local educational grants
Employer’s tuition-reimbursement program
Combining your annual family vacation with the conference trip
Holiday or birthday gift from your family
Simple negotiation with your employer.

Currently in the United States, we can choose from several wound conferences, including the National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy cosponsored event Wild on Wounds (WOW). I encourage all wound and ostomy experts to support and advance our specialty by continually educating and updating ourselves—and one way to do this is to go to conference.

Donna Sardina, RN, MHA, WCC, CWCMS, DWC, OMS
Clinical instructor
Wound Care Education Institute
Plainfield, Illinois

DISCLAIMER: All clinical recommendations are intended to assist with determining the appropriate wound therapy for the patient. Responsibility for final decisions and actions related to care of specific patients shall remain the obligation of the institution, its staff, and the patients’ attending physicians. Nothing in this information shall be deemed to constitute the providing of medical care or the diagnosis of any medical condition. Individuals should contact their healthcare providers for medical-related information.

One Day Wound Seminars Continue To Excite Clinicians

Monday, October 28th, 2013

2013-03-27 23.07.05Wound Care Education Institute (WCEI®) is busy wrapping up another national tour of the one-day wound seminar. Instructors Nancy Morgan and Jennifer Oakley spent the year touring the US and instructing thousands of clinicians with an interest in wound care. “We have met so many passionate clinicians that wanted to enhance their knowledge in wound care to make a difference in their patients’ lives! These seminars give folks a good foundation for beginning their knowledge along with providing a good review for clinicians already certified in wound care” said Nancy Morgan, co-founder of WCEI.

The seminars focus on wound assessment and on the advanced wound dressing categories and review the who, what, where, when, why and how including:

• The elements of a wound assessment
• Identifying pressure ulcers utilizing 2007 NPUAP Staging Guidelines
• Identifying tissue types commonly found in wounds
• Documenting comprehensive wound assessment
• and more!

November and December offer a few additional opportunities to attend at locations listed below. For complete details go to:

  • November 12 – Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • November 14 – Glenview, IL
  • December 4 – Ft Wayne, IN
  • December 5 – Ft Wayne, IN
  • 2014 Schedule Coming Soon!

Bring a seminar to your facility!

WCEI also offers the opportunity for a facility to bring the seminar to their location, allowing customization to the individual needs.  For more information on hosting a seminar at your facility, go to:

[One Day Seminar Instructors: Nancy Morgan RN, BSN, MBA, WOC, WCC, DWC, OMS and co-founder of WCEI.  Jennifer Oakley RN, BSN, CWCA, WCC, DWC, OMS]


Tuesday, July 16th, 2013


Curious about maggots and leeches?  The maggots are back at the Wild on Wounds conference in Las Vegas.

Session #302: “HOW TO: Hands On:
Principles and Practice of Biosurgery and Biosurgical Debridement”
Ron Sherman MD, MSc, DTM&H, Director BTER Foundation, Irvine, CA.
Taught in two sessions, you will get the didactic and the practical hands on.Maggott_photos
Learn about the history, current status, mechanisms of action, as well as indications and contraindications for maggot and leech therapy. Then put all that to use when you actually learn the technical aspects of maggot debridement therapy by applying live maggot dressings to mock wounds.









  •     Lunch all 3 days with a lunch speaker on 3rd day
  •     Black and White Gala party (includes dinner / drinks / prizes / dancing and more)
  •     2 days of vendor showcase exhibits
  •     Cyber café (complimentary internet access)
  •     3 days filled with Wound and Ostomy education


Who Says Wound Care Can’t Be Fun!

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

The Wild on Wounds annual conference is dedicated to spreading the knowledge needed to be a successful wound care practitioner. wow_boxing_ad

It is a multidisciplinary event providing exciting learning opportunities and a whole lot of fun!

To deliver a knock-out blow to chronic wounds, you need the passion and desire to achieve your goal and the know-how to turn that desire into results. This event will inspire you and give you the “moves and fancy footwork” needed to deliver positive results for your wound patients.  It is designed for the hands-on practitioner looking for evidence-based knowledge and tools to make a difference right away.

Conference Highlights:

  • 49 sessions covering the latest in evidence-based wound care
  • 21 “HOW-TO”  series of sessions to choose from
  • 7 “HANDS-ON” series of sessions to choose from
  • 4 Days of networking opportunities
  • Invitation to our 10th Anniversary Black & White Gala open to all main attendees
  • And More!

For complete details visit

Foot Ulcers Gone Bad!

Friday, January 11th, 2013

foot ulcersTo all our Diabetic Wound Management Certified clinicians out there or anyone interested in diabetic wound management, here are some tips to remember.

When it comes to diabetic foot ulcers, patient education plays a vital role in positive outcomes for our patient. Patients need to understand the importance of proper foot care and importance of good blood glucose control. The American Diabetes Association states that comprehensive foot care programs that include risk assessment, foot care education, preventative therapeutic treatment and referrals to a specialist can reduce the amputation rates bDiabetic Wound Certificationy 45-85%. A reduction of the patients A1c blood test by 1% can reduce the risk of microvascular complications by 40%.

So what do our patients need to know?

They need to work closely with their physician and the dietician to be sure their blood glucose levels are properly controlled. The ADA recommends an A1c below 7%. They need to know how important it is to check their feet daily to catch any problems early. We as clinicians need to teach them how to do this and what to look for.

Teach your diabetic patients to inspect their feet everyday. They can do this by having family members or caregivers check their feet, or they can use a mirror and do it themselves. I have heard some patients buy the mirrored tiles and put one on the floor and the other one up against the wall for a good view of their foot. Explain to your patients what exactly they are looking for; cuts, sores, red spots, swelling, infected toenails, blisters, calluses, cracks, excessive dryness or any other abnormality. They should check all surfaces of the feet and toes carefully, at the same time each and every day.  Explain to your patients to call their physician right away if they notice any abnormalities or any open areas.

Other problems the diabetic patient should be aware of with their feet and report to their physician include tingling or burning sensation, pain in the feet, cracks in the skin, a change in the shape of their foot, or lack of sensation – they might not feel warm, cold, or touch.  The patient should be aware that any of the above could potentially lead to diabetic foot ulcers.

Caring for Foot Ulcers

Instruct your patients to wash their feet every day, but not soak their feet.  Use warm, NOT hot water – be sure they check the water temperature with a thermometer or their elbow.  Dry feet well, especially between toes.  Apply lotion on the tops and bottoms of their feet but not between toes.  Trim toenails each week and as needed after bath / shower, trim nails straight across with clippers, smooth edges with emery board.

Wear socks and shoes at all times, the diabetic patient should never be barefoot, even indoors.  Wearing white socks are helpful to detect any drainage from the foot.  Have them check their shoes prior to wearing,be sure there are no objects inside and the lining is smooth.   Instruct them to wear shoes that protect their feet; athletic shoes or walking shoes that are leather are best, be sure they fit their feet appropriately and accommodate the foot width and any foot deformities.

For our diabetic patients, glucose control is a key factor in keeping them healthy, but patient education and understanding of proper foot inspection and what findings to report to their physician are just as important for the well being of our diabetic patient.

For information on the Diabetic Wound Management Certification Course, click here.

Wild on Wounds Contest Winner!

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Congratulations to Gayle Audenried from Moab Regional Hospital in Moab Utah. She is the winner of the “Why I Want To Go To WOW” contest.  Gayle receives an all expense Contest Winnerpaid trip to Las Vegas to attend the 2012 Wild on Wounds Conference at the Caesars Palace Hotel.  Each participant submitted a 3 minute video telling our alumni why they wanted to go to WOW.  Gayle’s video received over 400 votes. Her creativity really paid off.  To view Gayle’s video click here.

We also wish to thank our other participants.  Lona Gless, Andrea Hinojos and Sharon Pavelka.

Wild on Wounds Conference is being held September 12-15, 2012 in Las Vegas at the Caesars Palace.  Details can be found at

WCEI Product Focus

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Product Focus: Hydrocolloid Dressing Hydrocolloid Dressing

  • wafer dressing containing gel-forming agents in an adhesive compound laminated onto a flexible water resistant outer layer
  • occlusive or semi-occlusive dressing to cover the wound and prevent bacteria and fluids from interacting with the wound while promoting moist wound healing and
    autolytic debridement

When to Use Hydrocolloid Dressing:

  • to protect intact skin or newly healed wounds
  • non-infected wounds with scant to moderate drainage
  • wounds with granulation tissue or necrotic tissue
  • partial and full thickness wounds
  • may be used under compression

Advantages of Hydrocolloid Dressing:

  • available in variety of shapes, sizes, adhesive properties and in a variety of forms including wafers, pastes and powders
  • adhesive, moldable, provides a moisture barrier
  • promotes moist wound healing
  • provides autolytic debridement

Disadvantages of Hydrocolloid Dressing:

  • many CANNOT be used on infected wounds – check manufacturer’s instructions
  • dislodges with heavy exudate
  • odor when removed
  • dressing may dislodge with shearing or friction – beveled      edges may help prevent this
  • may cause peri-wound maceration

Examples of Hydrocolloid Dressing:

  • DuoDerm, Ultec, RepliCare, Tegasorb, Restore


  • many are not for use on infected wounds – check manufacturer’s instructions
  • not indicated for heavily exudating wounds
  • apply wafer 1 – 2 inches larger than wound
  • change every 3 days or up to 7 days, depending on exudates and manufacturer’s instructions
  • DO NOT USE with fungal lesions, herpetic lesions, wound with deep tunnels, tracts and undermining, fragile surrounding skin, exposed tendon or bone
  • dressing may be warmed prior to application for improved    adherence;  hold in place 30 – 40 seconds when applying

WCEI Product Focus: Composite Dressings

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Description of Composite Dressings:

Combination of 2 or more physically distinct products manufactured as a single dressing that provides multiple functions :  a bacterial barrier, absorbency, a degree of

Composite Dressings

Composite Dressing

non-adherence to the wound bed and self adhesiveness

When to Use:
Primary or secondary dressing for partial or full thickness wounds, wounds with minimal to heavy exudate, granulating or necrotic wounds

Advantages of Composite Dressings:

  • promotes moist wound healing
  • promotes autolytic debridement
  • allows for exchange of moisture vapor
  • may be used on infected wounds
  • easy to use

Disadvantages of Composite Dressings:
Requires border of intact skin on which to  adhere the dressing

Examples:                   ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­
Covaderm, Alldress, Telpha Island, Stratasorb, Tegaderm Pad, OpSite Post-Op


  • cannot cut dressings – use appropriate size
  • frequency of change varies – follow manufacturer’s instructions
  • do  not stretch dressing during application

WCEI PRODUCT FOCUS: Understanding Collagen Dressing

Monday, November 14th, 2011

WCEI brings you a new segment called PRODUCT FOCUS. This week’s installment is on collagen dressing.

Our objective is to provide ongoing education and resources to our wound care clinicians worldwide.

Description of Collagen Dressing:
Freeze dried sheets of collagen, particles, pastes or gels usually derived from cow hides – they encourage the deposition and organization of newly formed collagen fibers and granulation tissue in the wound bed

When to Use:
Primary dressing for chronic non-healing wounds, partial and full thickness wounds, granulating or necrotic wounds, infected and non-infected wounds, tunneling wounds and wounds with minimal to heavy exudate, depending on the form of collagen used

Advantages of Collagen Dressing:
– absorbent
– non-adherent
– conforms well to wound
– maintains moist wound environment
– easy to use

Disadvantages of Collagen Dressing:
– not recommended for wounds with heavy eschar
– requires secondary dressing
– contraindicated: third degree burns and sensitivity to bovine (cattle) products

Examples:Collagen Dressing
– Fibracol, BGC Matrix, CellerateRX, Stimulen, Promogran Matrix

– Frequency of change will vary according to product used and exudate level of the wound
– Follow manufacturer’s guidelines

WCEI Product Focus – Calcium Alginate

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Product Focus: Calcium Alginate

– derived from brown seaweed, spun into rope or flat dressing forms
– absorbs up to 20 times its weight
– conforms to the shape of the wound
– combines with wound exudate to form a soft gel to maintain a moist wound environment

Calcium Alginate

One of New Zealand’s most common brown seaweeds is Neptune’s necklace (Hormosira banksii), with its chains of beads

When to Use Calcium Alginate:
– primary dressing on partial and full thickness wounds
– draining wounds with moderate to heavy exudate
– infected and non-infected wounds
– wounds with tunneling and undermining
– must be used in moist wounds in order for product to gel
– may be used for extended periods of time

Advantages of Calcium Alginate:
– absorbent
– conformable, non-adhesive
– provides moist wound healing environment
– easy to use
– fills dead space
– promotes autolytic debridement

Disadvantages of Calcium Alginate:
– expensive to use in large wounds
– if wound bed is dry it will not form a gel and may adhere to granulation tissue, dry out the wound bed and cause trauma to healing tissue

– Curasorb, Sorbsan, Kaltostat, Fibracol, Aquacel

Reminders When Using Calcium Alginate:
– irrigate wound with normal saline or pH balanced surfactant cleanser between dressing changes
– use in moderate to heavily exudating wounds; not for use in a dry wound
– cover with secondary dressing
– change as needed, usually 1 -3 days, some up to 5 days
– it is inappropriate to moisten this product before using or to use with hydrogel – such actions indicate another type of dressing would be more appropriate
Wound Care Education Institute – 1-877-462-9234 –