Diabetic foot ulcers stem from multiple factors, including peripheral neuropathy, high plantar pressures, decreased vascularity, and impaired wound healing. Contributing significantly to morbidity, they may cause limb loss and death. (See Foot ulcers and diabetes.)
Initially, hydrocolloid dressings were developed to function as part of the stomal flange. Based on their success in protecting peristomal skin, they were introduced gradually into other areas of wound care. They contain wafers of gel-forming polymers, such as gelatin, pectin, and cellulose agents, within a flexible water-resistant outer layer. The wafers absorb wound exudate, forming a gel and creating a moist healing environment. (more…)
Developing a pressure ulcer can cause the patient pain, lead to social isolation, result in reduced mobility, and can even be fatal. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, estimated costs for each pressure ulcer range from $37,800 to $70,000, and the total annual cost of pressure ulcers in the United States is an estimated $11 billion.
Nurses understand their role in preventing pressure ulcers, but what role do patients play in the prevention plan? Nurses need to empower the patient to be an active member in health promotion activities and participate in prevention measures. In this article, I highlight the importance of incorporating pressure ulcer prevention into patient education for high-risk patients as a way to empower patients. Empowered patients can help improve outcomes and reduce overall costs of this hospital-acquired complication. (more…)
As a wound care specialist, you have learned about many skin conditions, some so unusual and rare that you probably thought you would never observe them. I’ve been a nurse for 38 years, with the last 10 years in wound care, and that’s certainly what I thought. But I was wrong. Let me tell you about my challenging patient with an unusual skin condition.
A perplexing patient (more…)
Being positive in a negative situation is not naïve. It’s leadership.
— Ralph S. Marston, Jr., author and
publisher of The Daily Motivator website
Clinicians may encounter many challenges and stressors in the workplace—long hours, rotating shifts, inadequate staffing, poor teamwork, and pressure to achieve higher performance levels in an emotionally and physically demanding field.
But hope exists. Positive psychology uses scientific understanding and interventions to help people achieve a more satisfactory life. Positive psychologists have shown that building positive emotions can change the way we approach and view our environment, helping us become healthier, happier, and more resilient and helping employees and teams become more productive and engaged. (more…)
Each issue, Apple Bites brings you a tool you can apply in your daily practice. Here are examples of medications that can affect wound healing.
Assessment and care planning for wound healing should include a thorough review of the individual’s current medications to identify those that may affect healing outcomes. Clinicians must then weigh the risks and benefits of continuing or discontinuing the medications. In some cases, the risk of discontinuing the medication outweighs the importance of wound healing, so the goal of the care plan should be adjusted to “maintain a wound” instead of “healing.” (more…)
At the 2015 Wild on Wounds conference, the interactive workshop “Are You Ready for an Outpatient Reimbursement Challenge?” featured a lively discussion among participants about 25 real-life reimbursement scenarios. Here are the top 10 questions the attendees asked, with the answers I provided.
Q Why is it necessary for qualified healthcare professionals (QHPs) such as physicians, podiatrists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and clinical nurse specialists to identify the place of service where they provide wound care services and to correctly state the place of service on their claim forms? (more…)
We all lead busy lives, with demanding work schedules and home responsibilities that can thwart our best intentions. Although we know it’s our responsibility to stay abreast of changes in our field, we may feel overwhelmed when we try to make that happen.
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, 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. This article highlights the hottest topics from my 2015 Buzz Report. (more…)
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…)