A study published online in The FASEB Journal delves into the mystifying fact that wounds in your mouth heal faster and more efficiently than wounds elsewhere. Until now, it was understood that saliva played a part in the wound healing process, though the extent of its role was unknown. The study examined the effects of salivary peptide histatin-1 on angiogenesis (blood vessel formation), which is critical to the efficiency of wound healing. Researchers found that histatin-1 promotes angiogenesis, as well as cell adhesion and migration. (more…)Read More
AlloFuse® Select CM – clinically proven to activate and support bone formation and can be used in a variety of spinal, neurologic, and orthopedic procedures.
AlloSource, one of the nation’s largest providers of cartilage, bone, skin, soft-tissue, and cellular allografts to advance patient healing in surgical procedures and wound care, today announced the release of AlloFuse® Select CM, a premium addition to AlloSource’s AlloFuse portfolio. (more…)Read More
Infographic: An Average Day in the Life of Nursing
Opioid Addiction by the Numbers
– Wound Infections
– Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
– Assess Diabetic Foot
– Ram’s Horn
By Beth Hoffmire Heideman, MSN, RN
No one wants an ostomy, but sometimes it’s required to save a patient’s life. As ostomy specialists, our role is to assess and intervene for patients with a stoma or an ostomy to enhance their quality of life. We play an active role in helping patients perform self-care for their ostomy and adjust to it psychologically, starting even before surgery. (more…)Read More
One of the most important steps in achieving positive wound-healing outcomes is to choose the right wound care product. This can be tricky, challenging, and sometimes overwhelming—especially if you’re new to wound care. When I first started in wound care, I had four to five “go-to” products that I knew about. Beyond that, I had to guess what would work. But I learned one thing early: I could call on my sales representatives for help. (more…)Read More
By Jennifer Oakley, BS, RN, WCC, DWC, OMS
I used to think I could do it alone. I took the wound care certification course, passed the certification exam, and took all of my new knowledge—and my new WCC credential—back to the long-term care facility where I worked. I was ready to change the world.
It didn’t take me long to figure out that I couldn’t change the complex world of wound care alone. I needed a team of specialists who could manage my patient’s troubles with nutrition, swallowing, activities of daily living, positioning, body image issues, and many other areas that required expertise I didn’t have. (more…)Read More
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.
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 in viscosity or thickness. They’re available in three forms: (more…)Read More
Guidelines for managing prosthetic joint infections released
The Infectious Diseases Society of America has released guidelines for diagnosing and managing prosthetic joint infections.
“Diagnosis and management of prosthetic joint infection: Clinical practice guidelines by the Infectious Diseases Society of America,” published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, notes that of the 1 million people each year who have their hips or knees replaced, as many as 20,000 will get an infection in the new joint.
The guidelines describe the best methods for diagnosing these infections, which are not easy to identify. Specifically, infection should be suspected in a patient who has any of the following: persistent wound drainage in the skin over the joint replacement, sudden onset of a painful prosthesis, or ongoing pain after the prosthesis has been implanted, especially if there had been no pain for several years or if there is a history of prior wound healing problems or infections.
Guidelines for treating infections are included and note that 4 to 6 weeks of I.V. or highly bioavailable oral antibiotic therapy is almost always necessary to treat prosthetic joint infections.
A decade of TIME
The TIME acronym (tissue, infection/inflammation, moisture balance, and edge of wound) was first developed more than 10 years ago to provide a framework for a structured approach to wound bed preparation and a basis for optimizing the management of open chronic wounds healing by secondary intention. To mark the event, the International Wound Journal has published “Extending the TIME concept: What have we learned in the past 10 years?”
The review points out four key developments:
• recognition of the importance of biofilms (and the need for a simple diagnostic)
• use of negative-pressure wound therapy
• evolution of topical antiseptic therapy as dressings and for wound lavage (notably, silver and polyhexamethylene biguanide)
• expanded insight into the role of molecular biological processes in chronic wounds (with emerging diagnostics).
The authors conclude, “The TIME principle remains relevant 10 years on, with continuing important developments that incorporate new evidence for wound care.”
Bed alarms fail to reduce patient falls
A study in Annals of Internal Medicine found that the use of bed alarms had no statistical or clinical effect on falls in an urban community hospital.
The 18-month trial included 16 nursing units and 27,672 inpatients. There was no difference in fall rates per 1,000 patient-days, the number of patients who fell, or the number of patients physically restrained on units using bed alarms, compared with control units.
Authors of “Effects of an intervention to increase bed alarm use to prevent falls in hospitalized patients: A cluster randomized trial” speculate the lack of response may be related to “alarm fatigue.”
Drug for HIV might help in Staph infections
A study in Nature reports that the drug maraviroc, used to treat HIV, might be useful for treating Staphylococcus aureus infections.
“CCR5 is a receptor for Staphylococcus aureus leukotoxin ED” found that the CCR5 receptor, which dots the surface of immune T cells, macrophages, and dendritic cells, is critical to the ability of certain strains of Staph to specifically target and kill cells with CCR5, which orchestrate an immune response against the bacteria. One of the toxins the bacterium releases, called LukED, latches on to CCR5 and subsequently punches holes through the membrane of immune cells, causing them to rapidly die.
When researchers treated cells with CCR5 with maraviroc and exposed the cells to the Staph toxin, they found maraviroc blocked toxic effects.
Dog able to sniff out C. difficile
A 2-year-old beagle trained to identify the smell of Clostridium difficile was 100% successful in identifying the bacteria in stool samples, and correctly identified 25 of 30 cases of patients with C. difficile, according to a study in BMJ.
“Using a dog’s superior olfactory sensitivity to identify Clostridium difficile in stools and patients: Proof of principle study” discusses how the dog was trained to detect C. difficile and concludes that although more research is needed, dogs have the potential for screening for C. difficile infection.
After-hours access to providers reduces ED use
Patients who have access to their primary healthcare providers after hours use emergency departments (EDs) less frequently, according to a study in Health Affairs.
“After-hours access to primary care practices linked with lower emergency department use and less unmet medical need” found that 30.4% of patients with after-hours access to their primary care providers reported ED use, compared with 37.7% of those without this access. In addition, those with after-hours access had lower rates of unmet needs (6.1% compared to 12.7%).
The findings come from the 2010 Health Tracking Household Survey of the Center for Studying Health System Change. The total sample included 9,577 respondents.
Neuropathic pain in patients with DPN might contribute to risk of falling
The presence of neuropathic pain in patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) contributes to gait variability, which could in turn contribute to the risk of falling, according to “Increased gait variability in diabetes mellitus patients with neuropathic pain.”
The study, published in the Journal of Diabetes and Its Complications, compared patients with at least moderate neuropathic pain with those who had no pain. Researchers used a portable device to measure gait parameters, such as step length and step velocity.
Amputation rates decrease significantly in patients with PAD
“Temporal trends and geographic variation of lower-extremity amputation in patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD): Results from U.S. Medicare 2000–2008” found that amputation rates have decreased significantly, but that significant patient and geographic variations remain.
The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that among 2,730,742 older patients with identified PAD, the overall rate of lower extremity amputation decreased from 7,258 per 100,000 patients to 5,790 per 100,000. Predictors of lower-extremity amputation included male sex, black race, diabetes mellitus, and renal disease.
New wound-swabbing technique detects more bacteria
The new Essen Rotary swabbing technique takes a few seconds longer to perform than traditional techniques, but improves bacterial count accuracy in patients with chronic leg ulcers, according to a study published by Wounds International.
“Evaluation of the Essen Rotary as a new technique for bacterial swabs: Results of a prospective controlled clinical investigation in 50 patients with chronic leg ulcers” reports that Essen Rotary detected significantly more bacteria compared to standard techniques and was the only one to identify five patients with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), compared to three detected by other techniques.
The Essen Rotary technique samples a larger surface area of the wound, which is beneficial for detecting MRSA.
“The Essen Rotary may become the new gold standard in routinely taken bacteriological swabs especially for MRSA screenings in patients with chronic leg ulcers,” the study authors write.
Reducing HbA1c by less than 1% cuts cardiovascular risk by 45% in patients with type 2 diabetes
A study presented at the American Diabetes Association 72nd Scientific Sessions found lowering HbA1c an average of 0.8% (from a mean of 7.8% to 7.0%, the treatment target) reduced the risk of cardiovascular death by 45% in patients with type
The absolute risk of mortality from a cardiovascular event was 9.9 events per 1,000 person-years in patients with decreasing HbA1c compared to 17.8 events in patients with stable or increasing HbA1c.
“HbA1c reduction and risk of cardiovascular diseases in type 2 diabetes: An observational study from the Swedish NDR” examined data from 18,035 patients in the Swedish National Diabetes Register.
CMS revises hospital, nursing home comparison websites
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has enhanced two websites designed to help the public make informed choices about their health care.
Hospital Compare and Nursing Home Compare now have better navigation and new comparison tools. The two sites include data on quality measures, such as frequency of hospital-acquired infections, and allow the user to compare hospitals on these measures.
Improvements include easy-to-use maps for locating hospitals, a new search function that enables the user to input the name of a hospital, and glossaries that are easier to understand. It’s now also possible to access the data on the sites through mobile applications.
CMS maintains the websites, which are helpful for anyone who wants to compare facilities, not just patients on Medicare or Medicaid.
For more information, read the article in Healthcare IT News.
IOM releases report on accelerating new drug and diagnostics development
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released “Accelerating the development of new drugs and diagnostics: Maximizing the impact of the Cures Acceleration Network—Workshop Summary.” The report is a summary of a forum that brought together members of federal government agencies, the private sector, academia, and advocacy groups to explore options and opportunities in the implementation of Cures Acceleration Network (CAN). The newly developed CAN has the potential to stimulate widespread changes in the National Institutes of Health and drug development in general.
Focus on individualized care—not just reducing swelling—in lymphedema patients
As a result of two extensive literature reviews, a researcher at the University of Missouri found that emphasizing quality of life—not just reducing swelling—is important for patients with lymphedema. Many providers and insurance companies base treatment on the degree of edema, but the volume of fluid doesn’t always correspond with the patients’ discomfort. Instead, an individualized plan of care should be developed.
The researchers found that Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT), a comprehensive approach for treating lymphedema that includes skin and nail care, exercise, manual lymphatic drainage, and compression, may be the best form of specialized lymphedema management. For more information about CDT, watch for the November/December issue of Wound Care Advisor.
Plague case in Oregon draws national attention
An article about a case of the plague in Oregon has appeared on Huffington Post. A welder contracted the disease as a result of unsuccessfully removing a mouse from a stray cat’s mouth. Part of his hands have, in the words of the article, “darkened to the color of charcoal.” Later tests confirmed the cat had the plague.
Plague cases are rare in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 7 human cases are reported each year, with a range of 1 to 17 cases. Antibiotics have significantly reduced morality. About half of cases occur in people ages 12 to 45.
Use of negative pressure wound therapy with skin grafts
“Optimal use of negative pressure wound therapy for skin grafts,” published by International Wound Journal, reviews expert opinion and scientific evidence related to the use of negative pressure wound therapy with reticulated open-cell foam for securing split-thickness skin grafts.
The article covers wound preparation, treatment criteria and goals, economic value, and case studies. The authors conclude that the therapy has many benefits, but note that future studies are needed “to better measure the expanding treatment goals associated with graft care, including increased patient satisfaction, increased patience compliance and improved clinical outcomes.”
Mechanism for halting healing of venous ulcers identified
Researchers have identified that aberrantly expressed microRNAs inhibit healing of chronic venous ulcers, according to a study in The Journal of Biological Chemistry.
Six microRNAs were plentiful in 10 patients with chronic venous ulcers. The microRNAs target genes important in healing the ulcers. In an article about the study, one of the researchers said, “The more we know about the molecular mechanisms that contribute to [the development of venous ulcers], the more we can rationally develop both diagnostic tools and new therapies.”
Hemodialysis-related foot ulcers not limited to patients with diabetes
Both patients with diabetes and those without are at risk for hemodialysis-related foot ulcers, according to a study published by International Wound Journal.
Researchers assessed 57 patients for ulcer risk factors (peripheral neuropathy, peripheral arterial disease, and foot pathology, such as claw toes, hallux valgus, prominent metatarsal heads, corns, callosities, and nail pathologies) at baseline, and noted mortality 3 years later.
In all, 79% of patients had foot pathology at baseline, and 18% of patients without diabetes had peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral arterial disease was present in 45% of diabetic and 30% of nondiabetic patients. Nearly half (49%) of patients had two or more risk factors. Only 12% of patients had no risk factors. The presence of peripheral arterial disease and peripheral neuropathy increased risk of mortality.
The authors of “Prevalence of risk factors for foot ulceration in a general haemodialysis population” state that the high prevalence of risk factors in nondiabetic patients indicates that they are at risk for developing foot ulcers.
Study identifies risk factors for mortality from MRSA bacteremia
A study in Emerging Infectious Diseases found that older age, living in a nursing home, severe bacteremia, and organ impairment increase the risk of death from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia.
Consultation with a specialist in infectious disease lowers the risk of death, and MRSA strain types weren’t associated with mortality.
“Predicting risk for death from MRSA bacteremia” studied 699 incidents of blood infection from 603 patients who had MRSA bacteremia.