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Wound-healing molecule found in parasitic worm could help prevent amputations

dr smout wound healing molecule parasitic worm

A substance found in parasitic worms’ spit might help prevent thousands of amputations a year, scientists in north Queensland have said. James Cook University researchers in Cairns are harnessing the molecule produced by a Thai liver parasite that can “supercharge” the healing of wounds.

Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine parasitologist Michael Smout said non-healing wounds were of particular concern for diabetics and smokers. Dr Smout said the parasite used the molecule to keep its host healthy and prolong its own life. “It’ll live for a decade or two, and it’s munching around your liver, and zipping up the wounds as it goes,” he said. (more…)

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Gene Therapy for Non-Healing Diabetic Foot Ulcers Starts Phase III Trial

Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Safety and Efficacy Study of VM202 in the Treatment of Chronic Non-Healing Foot Ulcers. This study will assess the safety and efficacy of using gene therapy via intramuscular injections of the calf for patients with chronic non-healing foot ulcers.

The first patient has been dosed in a Phase III trial assessing ViroMed’s VM202, the first pivotal study of a gene therapy indicated for patients with nonhealing diabetic foot ulcers (NHU) and concomitant peripheral artery disease (PAD).

The Phase III trial (NCT02563522) is a double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter study designed to evaluate VM202 for safety and efficacy in 300 adults with a diabetic foot ulcer and concomitant PAD. Two hundred patients will be randomized to VM202 and the other 100 to placebo, ViroMed’s U.S. division VM BioPharma said yesterday. (more…)

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New Approach to Wound Healing Easy on Skin, Tough on Bacteria

wound healing

Washington, D.C. — In a presentation  to the American Chemical Society meeting, Ankit Agarwal, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, described an experimental approach to wound healing that could take advantage of silver’s anti-bacterial properties, while sidestepping the damage silver can cause to cells needed for healing.

Silver is widely used to prevent bacterial contamination in wound dressings, says Agarwal, “but these dressings deliver a very large load of silver, and that can kill a lot of cells in the wound.” (more…)

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Laughlin Center Named Wound Care Center Of The Year

Laughlin Center for Wound Care and Hyperbarics

Laughlin Center for Wound Care and Hyperbarics has been honored as the Wound Care Center of the Year as well as recognized with a national award for continued excellence in wound healing by Healogics Inc., a wound care management company.

Leaders, physicians and clinicians from Laughlin Center for Wound Care and Hyperbarics recently gathered to celebrate the center’s receipt of the Robert A. Warriner III Center of Excellence award, according to a news release.


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Covenant Health Wound Care Experts Earn National, Regional Recognition

Covenant Health

LUBBOCK, TX (NEWS RELEASE) – The Covenant Center for Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine has been honored as a Wound Care Center® of the Year by Healogics, Inc., the nation’s leading and largest wound care management company. The center also was awarded Center of Distinction and the President’s Circle Award.

The center has achieved patient satisfaction rates higher than 92 percent, a healing rate of at least 91 percent in less than 31 median days and healed almost 90 percent of its patients in less than 14 weeks. Out of the 630 Centers eligible in 2016, only seven centers across the country received this prestigious award. Covenant’s center was awarded as Center of the Year for the southwest region, which includes Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and New Mexico. (more…)

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Imaging technology to aid wound care

Imaging technology to aid wound care

Nash UNC Health Care is continuing its effort to bring cutting-edge technology to the hospital.

Through a recent partnership with a Maryland-based medical imaging and data analytics company called Tissue Analytics, which is dedicated to revolutionizing wound care, Nash UNC Health Care has adopted new state-of-the-art wound imaging technology to its outpatient Wound Care Center. (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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Doctor-turned-businesswoman uses technology to help diabetics save their feet

When Dr. Breanne Everett began training to become a plastic surgeon she was shocked by the number of foot problems, including amputations, she was seeing among diabetic patients. She decided to look for a solution.

That led the 32-year-old physician to put her medical training on hold and make the transition into business and technology.

She invented a device to alert diabetic patients before a sore spot on their foot turned into a wound that could cause severe complications.

The Calgary company she founded — Orpyx — developed pressure-sensitive insole technology to feed information to patients and prevent the kinds of wounds that can lead to amputations in diabetics with peripheral neuropathy, which can cause numbness in the feet.

The company’s smart-sole foot protection system is attracting attention around the world with ongoing clinical trials in both the U.S. and U.K. The product is available through the company, which calls it the only device of its type on the market.

Read more at Ottawa Citizen

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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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Clinical Notes: Modified Braden Risk Score, dialysis patients, plantar


Modified Braden risk score proposed

A study in Ostomy Wound Management states the risk classification of patients using Braden Scale scores should comprise three (rather than five) levels: high risk, with a total score ≤11; moderate risk, with a total score of 12 to 16; and mild risk, with a total score ≥17.

The retrospective analysis of consecutively admitted patients at risk for pressure ulcer to an acute-care facility included 2,625 patients, with an age range from 1 month to 98 years; 3.1% developed a pressure ulcer. (more…)

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Ankle-brachial index: A dirty word?

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

Silence, roving eyes, fidgeting, excuses, a quick subject change—these are typical responses from healthcare clinicians when asked, “What’s the patient’s ankle-brachial index?” You’d think someone had just uttered a dirty word.

The ankle-brachial index (ABI) is a key component of the lower-extremity vascular exam, recommended and in some cases mandated by numerous clinical practice guidelines, including the most recent international guidelines on preventing and treating pressure ulcers. (more…)

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Note from Executive Director


As I write this, I am still feeling the energy from the 11th annual Wild on Wounds Conference. What a great group of wound care clinicians. With close to 1,000 attendees, the conference was fun, friendly, and jam-packed with sessions for all levels of clinicians, from beginners to advanced. Many of the attendees shared their frustrations in choosing one session over another with comments such as, “It was so difficult because of all of the great educational offerings.”

Once again, the National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy (NAWCO) had an answer table set up in the registration area. We enjoyed the many inquiries we received, and it was nice to put faces with names.

Each year, NAWCO gives four awards to deserving clinicians who put their hearts and souls into their work. We have so many talented and committed certified wound care clinicians that it seemed only fitting to recognize these talented people and give them the opportunity to shine. These individuals are nominated by their colleagues, coworkers, peers, and subordinates, and we had an abundance of nominations. While we would have loved to recognize all of the nominees, the committee could choose only four.

During the closing session, appropriately titled “Pay it Forward,” NAWCO recognized these four exceptionally talented, committed, hard-working clinicians for their achievements in their work with wound care patients. I wanted to share some of the impressive comments made about the award winners.

Outstanding Work in Diabetic Wounds:

Anna Ruelle, DPM, WCC

• “Voted ‘top doctor’ 11+ years in a row by peers”
• “Greatly reduced the incidence of below-the-knee amputations and loss of limb”
• “Never lets the sun set on a diabetic ulcer or wound when a patient calls.”

Outstanding Research in Wound Care:

Michael Katzman, RN, BSN, ONC, WCC

• “Known for his expertise in wound care and for being very approachable, professional, and a mentor to others”
• “Works collaboratively with other hospital skin champions to develop a protocol to prevent and treat skin tears through evidence-based research”
• “Offers regular in-services while collaborating with others to continuously improve outcomes.”

Outstanding WCC of the Year:

Chelsey Hawthorne, RN-BC, BSN, WCC

• “Serves as one of the certified nurses in a long-term care facility, and is a resource for the medical-surgical and other skilled units”
• “Works with the Magnet® Program supervisor to assist in getting more nurses certified through NAWCO”
• “Collaborates with the health system’s wound care clinic to ensure proper delivery of care to the residents.”

2014 Scholarship sponsored by Joerns® RecoverCare:

Craig Johnson, RN, BSN

• “Serves as staff nurse at a busy skilled nursing facility with a diverse and complex veteran population”
• “Demonstrates an overwhelming and sincere interest in wound care”
• “Designed and developed a mobile Wound Cart, which is used as a tool in the unit’s Wound Rounds Process.”

NAWCO is proud and honored to recognize the achievements of such a dedicated group of wound care clinicians. All of us at NAWCO congratulate the 2014 award winners.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Wound Care Advisor. 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.

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