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The long and short of it: Understanding compression bandaging

By Robyn Bjork, MPT, WCC, CWS, CLT-LANA

Margery Smith, age 82, arrives at your wound clinic for treatment of a shallow, painful ulcer on the lateral aspect of her right lower leg. On examination, you notice weeping and redness of both lower legs, 3+ pitting edema, several blisters, and considerable denude­ment of the periwound skin. She is wearing tennis shoes and her feet have relatively little edema, but her ankles are bulging over the edges of her shoes; both socks are wet. Stemmer’s sign is negative. The wound on the right leg is draining copious amounts of clear fluid; it’s dressed with an alginate, which is secured with conforming roll gauze. No signs or symptoms of infection are present. (more…)

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2013 Journal: November – December Vol. 2 No. 6

Wound Care Advisor Journal 2013 Vol2 No6

How do you prove a wound was unavoidable?

A pressure ulcer that a patient acquires in your facility or a patient’s existing pressure ulcer that worsens puts your organization at risk for regulatory citations as well as litigation. Unless you can prove the pressure ulcer was unavoidable, you could find yourself burdened with citations or fines, or could even end up in court.

In 2010, the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) hosted a multidisciplinary conference to establish a consensus on whether all pressure ulcers are avoidable.

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Clinical Notes: Pressure-Ulcer Data, Diabetic Foot Ulcers, IFG & HbA1c

Hospital pressure-ulcer comparison data not accurate Performance scores for rates of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers might not be appropriate for comparing hospitals, according to a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine. “Hospital report cards for hospital-acquired pressure ulcers: How good are the grades?,” funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, analyzed 2 million all-payer administrative records from 448…

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Clinician Resources: On the Road Again, Nutrition, Compression

A variety of resources to end the year and take you into 2014. On the road again Give your patients with an ostomy this information from the Transportation Security Administration to help them navigate airport screening: • You can be screened without having to empty or expose your ostomy, but you need to let the officer conducting the screening know…

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dietary protein intake promotes wound healing

How dietary protein intake promotes wound healing

By Nancy Collins, PhD, RD, LD/N, FAPWCA, and Allison Schnitzer Nutrition is a critical factor in the wound healing process, with adequate protein intake essential to the successful healing of a wound. Patients with both chronic and acute wounds, such as postsurgical wounds or pressure ulcers, require an increased amount of protein to ensure complete and timely healing of their…

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unavoidable pressure ulcers

How do you prove a wound was unavoidable?

By Jeri Lundgren, BSN, RN, PHN, CWS, CWCN A pressure ulcer that a patient acquires in your facility or a patient’s existing pressure ulcer that worsens puts your organization at risk for regulatory citations as well as litigation. Unless you can prove the pressure ulcer was unavoidable, you could find yourself burdened with citations or fines, or could even end…

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Making professional connections

Making professional connections

By Kathleen D. Pagana, PhD, RN Are you making connections that benefit your career? Are you comfortable starting a conversation at a networking session? Do you know how to exit a conversation gracefully when it’s time to move on? These are questions and concerns many clinicians share. Career success takes more than clinical expertise, management savvy, and leadership skills. Networking…

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ostomy supplies they need

Making sure patients have the ostomy supplies they need

By Connie Johnson, BSN, RN, WCC, LLE, OMS, DAPWCA No matter where you work or who your distributors are, ensuring the patient has sufficient ostomy supplies can be a challenge. Whether you’re the nurse, the physician, the patient, or the family, not having supplies for treatments can heighten frustration with an already challenging situation, such as a new ostomy. Here’s…

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Protecting yourself from a job layoff

by Donna Sardina, RN, MHA, WCC, CWCMS, DWC, OMS With uncertainty over how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ultimately will affect operations, hospitals and other healthcare facilities are tightening up. In many areas, they’re laying off staff. In May, the healthcare industry lost 9,000 jobs—the worst month for the industry in a decade—and another 4,000 jobs were lost in July.…

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Skin problems with chronic venous insufficiency and phlebolymphedema

Dermatologic difficulties: Skin problems in patients with chronic venous insufficiency and phlebolymphedema By Nancy Chatham, RN, MSN, ANP-BC, CWOCN, CWS; Lori Thomas, MS, OTR/L, CLT-LANA; and Michael Molyneaux, MD Skin problems associated with chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) and phlebolymphedema are common and often difficult to treat. The CVI cycle of skin and soft tissue injury from chronic disease processes can…

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The long and short of it: Understanding compression bandaging

By Robyn Bjork, MPT, WCC, CWS, CLT-LANA Margery Smith, age 82, arrives at your wound clinic for treatment of a shallow, painful ulcer on the lateral aspect of her right lower leg. On examination, you notice weeping and redness of both lower legs, 3+ pitting edema, several blisters, and considerable denude­ment of the periwound skin. She is wearing tennis shoes…

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hydrogel dressings

What you need to know about hydrogel dressings

By Nancy Morgan, RN, BSN, MBA, WOC, WCC, DWC, OMS Each issue, Apple Bites brings you a tool you can apply in your daily practice. Description Hydrated polymer (hydrogel) dressings, originally developed in the 1950s, contain 90% water in a gel base, which helps regulate fluid exchange from the wound surface. Hydrogel dressing are usually clear or translucent and vary…

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2013 Journal: November – December Vol. 2 No. 6

Click here to access the digital edition

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2013 Journal: July August Vol. 2 No. 4

Understanding stoma complications

About 1 million people in the United States have either temporary or permanent stomas. A stoma is created surgically to divert fecal material or urine in patients with GI or urinary tract diseases or disorders.

A stoma has no sensory nerve endings and is insensitive to pain. Yet several complications can affect it, making accurate assessment crucial. These complications may occur during the immediate postoperative period, within 30 days after surgery, or later. Lifelong assessment by a healthcare provider with knowledge of ostomy surgeries and complications is important.

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Clinical Notes: Ischemia, Breast Cancer, ICU Patients

Critical limb ischemia may not increase mortality risk in patients with diabetes Diabetic patients with critical limb ischemia (CLI) who are assessed quickly and treated aggressively do not have an increased risk of long-term cardiac mortality, according to a study in Diabetes Care.

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Compression therapy for chronic venous insufficiency, lower-leg ulcers, and secondary lymphedema

By Nancy Chatham, RN, MSN, ANP-BC, CCNS, CWOCN, CWS, and Lori Thomas, MS, OTR/L, CLT-LANA An estimated 7 million people in the United States have venous disease, which can cause leg edema and ulcers. Approximately 2 to 3 million Americans suffer from secondary lymphedema. Marked by abnormal accumulation of protein-rich fluid in the interstitium, secondary lymphedema eventually can cause fibrosis…

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Forging a communication bond with prescribers

By T. Michael Britton, RN, NHA, WCC, DWC As wound care professionals, we’ve all experienced a time when we felt that our patient didn’t have the appropriate wound treatment orders. However, the physician, nurse practitioner, or other prescriber wouldn’t follow your recommendation. This situation is not only frustrating but can delay the healing process. This article explores why a prescriber…

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From the Editor – Wound care superhero

by Donna Sardina, RN, MHA, WCC, CWCMS, DWC, OMS What an honor it is to be the wound care “superhero”—the guru, the healer, the go-to person. Unfortunately, this honor may be accompanied by wound care overload—too much to do in too little time. Once someone is crowned the superhero specialist, others may try to transfer every aspect of wound and…

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Understanding stoma complications

By Rosalyn S. Jordan, RN, BSN, MSc, CWOCN, WCC, OMS; and Judith LaDonna Burns, LPN, WCC, DFC About 1 million people in the United States have either temporary or permanent stomas. A stoma is created surgically to divert fecal material or urine in patients with GI or urinary tract diseases or disorders. A stoma has no sensory nerve endings and…

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patient lower extremity redness

What’s causing your patient’s lower-extremity redness?

By Robyn Bjork, MPT, CWS, WCC, CLT-LANA The ability to understand or “read” lower-extremity redness in your patient is essential to determining its cause and providing effective treatment. Redness can occur in multiple conditions—hemosiderin staining, lipodermatosclerosis, venous dermatitis, chronic inflammation, cellulitis, and dependent rubor. This article provides clues to help you differentiate these conditions and identify the specific cause of…

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Wounds on the Web: Accessing the best online resources

By Donna Sardina, RN, MHA, WCC, CWCMS, DWC, OMS Knowledge is exploding online, making it essential that you’re comfortable using the Internet. You can also go online to save time and find a job, among other tasks. (See Online value.) However, you also need to keep in mind that anyone can put information on the Internet. As the caption of…

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WC July August 2013-717_FINAL

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What’s causing your patient’s lower-extremity redness?

patient lower extremity redness

By Robyn Bjork, MPT, CWS, WCC, CLT-LANA

The ability to understand or “read” lower-extremity redness in your patient is essential to determining its cause and providing effective treatment. Redness can occur in multiple conditions—hemosiderin staining, lipodermatosclerosis, venous dermatitis, chronic inflammation, cellulitis, and dependent rubor. This article provides clues to help you differentiate these conditions and identify the specific cause of your patient’s lower-extremity redness. (more…)

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When you can’t rely on ABIs

By Robyn Bjork, MPT, CWS, WCC, CLT-LANA

One of the worst fears of a wound care clinician is inadvertently compressing a leg with critical limb ischemia—a condition marked by barely enough blood flow to sustain tissue life. Compression (as well as infection or injury) could lead to necrosis, the need for amputation, or even death. The gold standard of practice is to obtain an ankle-brachial index (ABI) before applying compression. However, recent research and expert opinion indicate an elevated or normal ABI is deceptive in patients with advanced diabetes. What’s worse, in the diabetic foot, skin may die from chronic capillary ischemia even when total blood perfusion is normal. For information on how to perform an ABI and interpret results, click on this link. (more…)

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Positive Stemmer’s sign yields a definitive lymphedema diagnosis in 10 seconds or less

By Robyn Bjork, MPT, CWS, WCC, CLT-LANA

In a busy wound clinic, quick and accurate differential diagnosis of edema is essential to appropriate treatment or referral for comprehensive care. According to a 2010 article in American Family Physician, 80% of lower extremity ulcers result from chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). In 2007, the German Bonn Vein Study found 100% of participants with active venous ulcers also had a positive Stemmer’s sign, indicating lymphedema. (more…)

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Bedside ankle-brachial index testing: Time-saving tips

By Robyn Bjork, MPT, CWS, WCC, CLT-LANA

A hot flush of embarrassment creates a bead of sweat on my forehead. “I’ve got to get this measurement,” I plead to myself. One glance at the clock tells me this bedside ankle-brachial index (ABI) procedure has already taken more than 30 minutes. My stomach sinks as I realize I’ll have to abandon the test as inconclusive. (more…)

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