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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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More from The Buzz Report: A wound care clinician’s best friend

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

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. Each year, I present the opening session of this conference, 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 innovative new products, practice guidelines, resources, and tools from the last 12 months in skin, wound, and ostomy management. (more…)

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Medical gauze 101

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.

Medical gauze, a bleached white cloth or fabric used in bandages, dressings, and surgical sponges, is the most widely used wound care dressing. Commonly known as “4×4s,” gauze is made from fibers of cotton, rayon, polyester, or a combination of these fibers. Surgical gauze must meet standards of purity, thread count, construction, and sterility according to the United States Pharmacopeia. (more…)

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Translating the language of health care

By Catherine E. Chung, PhD, RN, CNE, WCC

As a wound care clinician, you teach patients about medications, wound treatments, the plan of care, symptoms of complications, wound physiology—you teach a lot. And most patients probably smile and nod when you ask, “Do you understand?” However, health literacy research has shown that only 12% of the U.S. population is fluent in the language of health care. As health care has become increasingly complex, it has become increasingly difficult for patients to understand. Fortunately for your patient, you can translate. (more…)

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Linear wound measurement basics

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.

Measurement of wounds is an important component of wound assessment and provides baseline measurements, enables monitoring of healing rates, and helps distinguish among wounds that are static, deteriorating, or improving. All alterations in skin integrity, including those caused by ulcers, venous ulcers, arterial ulcers, neuropathic ulcers, incision lines, grafts, donor sites, abscesses, and rashes should be measured when they’re discovered and at intervals thereafter, based on institutional policy. (more…)

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Case study: Bariatric patient with serious wounds and multiple complications

By Hedy Badolato, RD, CSR, CNSC; Denise Dacey, RD, CDE; Kim Stevens, BSN, RN, CCRN; Jen Fox, BSN, RN, CCRN; Connie Johnson, MSN, RN, WCC, LLE, OMS, DAPWCA; Hatim Youssef, DO, FCCP; and Scott Sinner, MD, FACP

Despite the healthcare team’s best efforts, not all hospitalizations go smoothly. This article describes the case of an obese patient who underwent bariatric surgery. After a 62-day hospital stay, during which a multidisciplinary team collaborated to deliver the best care possible, he died. Although the outcome certainly wasn’t what we wanted, we’d like to share his story to raise awareness of the challenges of caring for bariatric patients. (more…)

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Device–related pressure ulcers: Avoidable or not?

device related pressure ulcer

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

A medical device–related pressure ulcer (MDRPU) is defined as a localized injury to the skin or underlying tissue resulting from sustained pressure caused by a medical device, such as a brace; splint; cast; respiratory mask or tubing; tracheostomy tube, collar, or strap; feeding tube; or a negative-pressure wound therapy device. The golden rule of pressure ulcer treatment is to identify the cause of pressure and remove it. Unfortunately, many of the medical devices are needed to sustain the patient’s life, so they can’t be removed. (more…)

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Clinical Notes: Aspirin, Skin Infections, NPWT surgical incisions

Aspirin inhibits wound healing

A study in the Journal of Experimental Medicine describes how aspirin inhibits wound healing and paves the way for the development of new drugs to promote healing.

The authors of “12-hydroxyheptadecatrienoic (12-HHT) acid promotes epidermal wound healing by accelerating keratinocyte migration via the BLT2 receptor” report that aspirin reduced 12-HHT production, which resulted in delayed wound closure in mice. However, a synthetic leukotriene B4 receptor 2 (BLT2) agonist increased the speed of wound closure in cultured cells and in diabetic mice. (more…)

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The DIME approach to peristomal skin care

By Catherine R. Ratliff, PhD, APRN-BC, CWOCN, CFCN

It’s estimated that about 70% of the 1 million ostomates in the United States and Canada will experience or have experienced stomal or peristomal complications. Peristomal complications are more common, although stomal complications (for example, retraction, stenosis, and mucocutaneous separation) can often contribute to peristomal problems by making it difficult to obtain a secure pouch seal. This article will help you differentiate types of peristomal complications, including how to prevent and manage them. (more…)

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Guidelines for safe negative-pressure wound therapy

safe negative-pressure wound therapy

By Ron Rock MSN, RN, ACNS-BC

Since its introduction almost 20 years ago, negative-pressure wound therapy (NPWT) has become a leading technology in the care and management of acute, chronic, dehisced, traumatic wounds; pressure ulcers; diabetic ulcers; orthopedic trauma; skin flaps; and grafts. NPWT applies controlled suction to a wound using a suction pump that delivers intermittent, continuous, or variable negative pressure evenly through a wound filler (foam or gauze). Drainage tubing adheres to an occlusive transparent dressing; drainage is removed through the tubing into a collection canister. NWPT increases local vascularity and oxygenation of the wound bed and reduces edema by removing wound fluid, exudate, and bacteria. (more…)

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It takes a village: Leading a wound team

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…)

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Managing venous stasis ulcers

Managing chronic venous leg ulcers — what’s the latest evidence?

By Kulbir Dhillon, MSN, FNP, APNP, WCC

Venous disease, which encompasses all conditions caused by or related to diseased or abnormal veins, affects about 15% of adults. When mild, it rarely poses a problem, but as it worsens, it can become crippling and chronic.

Chronic venous disease often is overlooked by primary and cardiovascular care providers, who underestimate its magnitude and impact. Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) causes hypertension in the venous system of the legs, leading to various pathologies that involve pain, swelling, edema, skin changes, stasis dermatitis, and ulcers. An estimated 1% of the U.S. population suffers from venous stasis ulcers (VSUs). Causes of VSUs include inflammatory processes resulting in leukocyte activation, endothelial damage, platelet aggregation, and intracellular edema. Preventing VSUs is the most important aspect of CVI management. (more…)

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