A fundamental rule of wound care is to treat the “whole” patient, not just the “hole” in the patient. To do this, we need to focus on a holistic
approach to healing, which means evaluating everything that’s going on with the patient—from nutrition, underlying diseases, and medications to activity level, social interactions, and even sleep patterns.
We know that as specialists, we’re expected to do all of these things. But in the real world, we can’t be specialists in all areas. That’s where the team concept comes in. In fact, the team approach is imperative for helping us heal our patients’ wounds and achieve our overall goal of improving patient outcomes. (more…)
Value of systematic reviews and meta-analyses in wound care
“Systematic reviews and meta-analyses—literature-based recommendations for evaluating strengths, weaknesses, and clinical value,” in Ostomy Wound Management, discusses evidence-based practice and how systematic reviews (SRs) and meta-analyses (MAs) can help improve management of wound care patients.
The authors of the article explain evidence-based practice and provide useful definitions for key terms. They then provide a list of eight questions to use when evaluating SRs and practical tips such as how to search for SR and MA studies. The article finishes with a list of eight interventions supported by the most evidence: hydrocolloidal dressings, honey, biosynthetic dressings, iodine complexes, silver compounds, hydrogels, foam dressings, and negative pressure wound therapy. (more…)
Immobility affects all our body systems, including our skin. According to the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, many contributing factors are associated with the formation of a pressure ulcer, with impaired mobility leading the list.
So what can clinicians do to prevent harm caused by immobility? One often-overlooked strategy is a restorative nursing program. (See About restorative nursing.)
Moving up the time line
Most patients who score poorly for mobility and/or activity impairments on the Braden Scale for Predicting Pressure Ulcer Risk are referred to physical therapy, but too often a restorative nursing program (more…)
Start the New Year off right by checking out these resources.
Pressure ulcer prevention education
Access the following education resources from Wounds International:
The webinar “Real-world solutions for pressure ulcer prevention: Optimising the role of support surfaces” includes:
• an overview of the issue of pressure ulcers
• what to consider when choosing a support surface
• how to operationalize support surfaces in the clinical setting. (more…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
By Ronald A. Sherman, MD; Sharon Mendez, RN, CWS; and Catherine McMillan, BA
Note From the Editor: This is the second of two articles on maggot therapy. The first article appeared in our July/August 2014 issue, Read part 1 here.
Whether your practice is an acute-care setting, a clinic, home care, or elsewhere, maggot debridement therapy (MDT) can prove to be a useful tool in wound care. But setting up any new program can meet resistance—and if you seek to establish a maggot therapy program, expect to meet significant resistance. By arming yourself in advance, you can achieve your goal more easily. This article covers all the bases to help you get your maggot therapy program off the ground. (more…)
By: Ronald A. Sherman, MD; Sharon Mendez, RN, CWS; and Catherine McMillan, BA
Maggot therapy is the controlled, therapeutic application of maggots to a wound. Simple to use, it provides rapid, precise, safe, and powerful debridement. Many wound care professionals don’t provide maggot therapy (also called wound myiasis) because they lack training. But having maggot therapy technology available for patients adds to your capabilities as a wound care provider. (more…)