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Control your claims: Pressure ulcer/wound care management

Diabetic Foot Ulcers

One of many dreaded tags from a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Survey is F-Tag 314 — Pressure ulcers.

CMS writes, “Each resident must receive and the facility must provide the necessary care and services to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being, in accordance with the comprehensive assessment and plan of care.” (more…)

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Don’t Kid Yourself, Amputation Is Unquestionably A Failure

amputation is a failure

by Dr. Michael Miller

I recently saw an ad for a pending lecture at a national conference that piqued my interest much like “deflate-gate”.  The title of this lecture horrifically touted that Amputation need not be considered failure.  As a full time wound care doc, I work to identify those conditions that place patients at risk of all consequences both limited and catastrophic.  We use the catchy title of “Limb Preservation”.  We start the process by engaging in the unusual behavior of making definitive diagnoses, then systematically address them in as comprehensive manner as possible.  I am proud to tell you that while there are occasions in which a terminally damaged digit is lost,  that we have rarely sacrificed the greater part of a foot and more, have had only 3 lower extremity amputations in the last 5 years on patients who’s care remained exclusively with us.  Of course, when a patient for whom we have created and implemented a “Limb Pres” care plan is taken out of our system (usually via a hospitalization for a reason other then the lower extremity problem), the facility forces that be unfortunately but infrequently demonstrate their inadequacy and paranoia by gang-harangueing the patient and family.  They are lambasted with lurid tales of the condition marching up the leg engulfing the foot, knee, torso, and brains much like a flesh-eating PacMan.   The patient’s confidence now neutered has little chance against this persistent onslaught of inadequacy and so, much like the Queen song, “Another One Bites The Dust”. (more…)

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Preparing the wound bed: Basic strategies, novel methods

The goal of wound-bed preparation is to create a stable, well-vascularized environment that aids healing of chronic wounds. Without proper preparation, even the most expensive wound-care products and devices are unlikely to produce positive outcomes.

To best prepare the wound bed, you need to understand wound healing physiology and wound care basics, as well as how to evaluate the patient’s overall health and manage wounds that don’t respond to treatment. (See Normal wound healing.) (more…)

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Who can perform sharp wound debridement?

Nurses and therapists often wonder if their license permits them to perform sharp wound debridement. Scope of practice varies significantly from state to state, so it’s imperative to check your state for specific guidance, but we can address some of the challenges clinicians face in deciding whether they can perform this valuable service for patients.

Sharp debridement vs. other forms

(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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Wise use of antibiotics in patients with wound infections

Antibiotic resistance is a pressing public health threat not only in the United States, but worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is one of the major threats to human health.

Despite these concerns, antibiotics continue to be widely used—and overused. In long-term care, for instance, antibiotics are the most frequently prescribed medications, with as many as 70% of residents receiving one or more courses per year. And antibiotics are consistently ordered for suspected pressure ulcer infections.

Here is what clinicians who care for patients with wounds can do to help reduce antibiotic resistance. (more…)

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Case study: Maggots help heal a difficult wound

Using maggots to treat wounds dates back to 1931 in this country. Until the advent of antibiotics in the 1940s, maggots were used routinely. In the 1980s, interest in them revived due to the increasing emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

At Select Specialty Hospital Houston in Texas, we recently decided to try maggot therapy for a patient with a particularly difficult wound. In this case study, we share our experience. (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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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 2

This approach brings patient-centered care to life.

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

Editor’s note: This article is the second in a two-part series on palliative wound care. For the first part, click here.

By preventing and relieving suffering, palliative care improves the quality of life for patients facing problems associated with life-threatening illness. This care approach emphasizes early identification, impeccable assessment, and treatment of pain and other issues—physical, psychosocial, and spiritual. (more…)

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Role of rehab in wound care

 By Bill Richlen, PT, WCC, DWC, and Denise Richlen, PT, WCC, DCCT

How many times have you heard someone say, “I didn’t know PTs did wound care”? Statements like this aren’t uncommon. The role of physical therapists (PTs), occupational therapists, and speech therapists in wound care is commonly misunderstood by and even a mystery to many clinicians. Sometimes the therapists themselves are confused about reimbursement or what their role on the wound care team can be. (more…)

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Clinician Resources: MRSA, Dosing Calculator, CDC Resources

Special edition: Resources from the Buzz Report

This issue, we highlight some resources from “The Buzz Report,” the popular presentation given by editor-in-chief Donna Sardina, RN, MHA, WCC, CWCMS, DWC, OMS, at the Wild On Wounds (WOW) conference, held each September in Las Vegas. (more…)

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