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What does it mean to participate in a wound care clinical trial?

By Susan Beard, RN, BS, CWOCN

Suppose you’re reading an article on a new product that states the product has been through a series of clinical trials before marketing. What does this mean? Who was involved? As a clinician, could you initiate or be involved in a clinical trial of a new product? Who are clinical trial subjects, and what’s it like for them to be involved in a clinical study?

A clinical trial starts as an idea. As clinicians, we often use our critical-thinking skills to imagine a product or method of practice we think could be created or improved on to better meet our patients’ needs. The idea begins to grow and a series of events begins. (more…)

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Fish Skin for Human Wounds: Iceland’s Pioneering Treatment

Fish Skin for Human Wounds

The FDA-approved skin substitute reduces inflammation and transforms chronic wounds into acute injuries.

Six hours north of Reykjavik, along a narrow road tracing windswept fjords, is the Icelandic town of Isafjordur, home of 3,000 people and the midnight sun. On a blustery May afternoon, snow still fills the couloirs that loom over the docks, where the Pall Palsson, a 583-ton trawler, has just returned from a three-day trip. Below the rust-spotted deck, neat boxes are packed with freshly caught fish and ice. “If you take all the skins from that trawler,” says Fertram Sigurjonsson, the chairman and chief executive officer of Kerecis Ltd., gesturing over the catch, “we would be able to treat one in five wounds in the world.” (more…)

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Herpes zoster: Understanding the disease, its treatment, and prevention

Herpes zoster: Understanding the disease, its treatment, and prevention

Herpes zoster (HZ, also called shingles) is a painful condition that produces a maculopapular and vesicular rash. Usually, the rash appears along a single dermatome (band) around one side of the body or face.

In most cases, pain, tingling, burning, or itching occurs a few days before the rash. Next, blisters form, scabbing over in 7 to 10 days. In rare cases, the rash is widespread, resembling varicella zoster (VZ, or chickenpox) rash. Pain can range from mild to severe and may be dull, burning, or gnawing. It may last weeks, months, or even years after the blisters heal. Shingles on the face may impair vision or hearing. (more…)

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Instill instead: Negative pressure wound therapy with instillation for complex wounds

Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) uses negative pressure to draw wound edges together, remove edema and infectious material, and promote perfusion and granulation tissue development. The tissue stretch and compression created by negative pressure during NPWT promotes tissue perfusion and granulation tissue development through angiogenesis, cellular proliferation, fibroblast migration, increased production of wound healing proteins, and reduction of wound area. NPWT has been used to improve healing in a variety of wounds, including traumatic injuries, surgical wounds, pressure ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, and venous stasis ulcers. (more…)

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No more skin tears

Imagine watching your skin tear, bleed, and turn purple. Imagine, too, the pain and disfigurement you’d feel.

What if you had to live through this experience repeatedly? That’s what many elderly people go through, suffering with skin tears through no fault of their own. Some go on to develop complications.

A skin tear is a traumatic wound caused by shear, friction, or blunt-force trauma that results in a partial- or full-thickness injury. Skin tears are painful because the precipitating injury commonly involves the dermis, which is rich with nerve endings. (more…)

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Buzz Report: Latest trends, part 2

Keeping clinicians up-to-date on clinical knowledge is one of the main goals of the Wild on Wounds (WOW) conference held each September in Las Vegas. Every year, I present the opening session, called “The Buzz Report,” which focuses on the latest-breaking wound care news—what’s new, what’s now, and what’s coming up. I discuss new products, practice guidelines, resources, and tools from the last 12 months in skin, wound, and ostomy management.

In the January issue, I discussed some of the updates from my 2015 Buzz Report. Now I’d like to share a few more, along with some of my favorite resources. (more…)

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Is your therapy department on board with your wound care team?

therapy department wound care

By Cheryl Robillard, PT, WCC, CLT, DWC

Patients in your clinical practice who develop wounds should prompt a call for “all hands on deck” to manage the situation, but some personnel may be missing the boat. Physical therapists (PTs), occupational therapists (OTs), and speech-language pathologists (SLPs) should be on board your wound care ship so patients can receive care they need. But unfortunately, sometimes they aren’t. (more…)

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Providing evidence-based care for patients with lower-extremity cellulitis

By Darlene Hanson, PhD, RN; Diane Langemo, PhD, RN, FAAN; Patricia Thompson, MS, RN; Julie Anderson, PhD, RN; and Keith Swanson, MD

Cellulitis is an acute, painful, and potentially serious spreading bacterial skin infection that affects mainly the subcutaneous and dermal layers. Usually of an acute onset, it’s marked by redness, warmth, swelling, and tenderness. Borders of the affected skin are characteristically irregular. Although cellulitis may occur in many body areas, this article discusses the most common location—the lower limb. (more…)

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A collaborative approach to wound care and lymphedema therapy: Part 1

By Erin Fazzari, MPT, CLT, CWS, DWC

Have you seen legs like those shown in the images below in your practice? These images show lymphedema and venous stasis ulcers, illustrating the importance of collaboration between clinicians in two disciplines: lymphedema and wound care. (more…)

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Finding common ground: Surviving wound care communication

By Jennifer Oakley, BS, RN, WCC, DWC, OMS

The author describes how to overcome challenges to effective communication in the healthcare setting.

Accurate communication among healthcare professionals can spell the difference between patient safety and patient harm. Communication can be a challenge, especially when done electronically. With an e-mail or a text, you can’t hear the other person’s voice or see the body language, so it’s easy to misinterpret the words. (more…)

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Palliative wound care: Part 1

By Gail Rogers Hebert, MS, RN, CWCN, WCC, DWC, OMS, LNHA

The World Health Organization defines palliative care as “an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.” (more…)

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What to do when someone pushes your buttons

By Laura L. Barry, MBA, MMsc, and Maureen Sirois, MSN, RN, CEN, ANP

Why is it that some things don’t bother us, while other things catapult us from an emotional 0 to 60 mph in a heartbeat? We all know what it feels like when someone says or does something that gets our juices flowing. We feel it in our bodies, emotions, and mood. We have an overwhelming urge to react. We may express it in words at the time or take our frustrations out later on someone else. It just doesn’t feel good. We want to explode, set the record straight. (more…)

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