Blogs

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture
Necrotic Foot

by the Wound Source Editors

Chronic non-healing wounds affect millions of patients each year and contribute significantly to their morbidity and mortality. These wounds have a substantial impact because of their economic burden and the significant effect on the reduction in quality of life, as well as the increased risk of death for those patients affected by them.1 A 2014 study of Medicare data showed that chronic non-healing wounds and associated complications affect nearly 15% or 8.2 million Medicare beneficiaries. The study also estimated the cost to treat these wounds at between $28.1 billion and $31.7 billion annually.2 The highest costs were associated with infected or reopened surgical wounds, and outpatient care had the highest site-of-service costs. In addition to being older, most of these patients have obesity and diabetes. Underlying causes often include diabetic foot ulcers, venous leg ulcers, arterial insufficiency, and pressure ulcers. The list of complications contributing not only to chronicity but also to further deterioration is quite lengthy.

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Marcia Nusgart's picture
Cost associated with chronic wounds

by Marcia Nusgart, Executive Director, Alliance of Wound Care Stakeholders

The true burden of wound care to Medicare has been relatively obscured. Traditionally, wound care procedures were performed in the hospital setting. When the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) created the hospital-based outpatient payment system in 2000 with the goal of providing care in complex cases when patients did not require hospitalization, management of nonhealing wounds shifted to the outpatient setting. Today, approximately 1,500 specialized hospital-based outpatient “wound centers” across the United States provide standard wound care treatment, as well as numerous therapeutic treatments. Wound care is also provided in patients’ homes by home health services and in skilled nursing facilities.

Fabiola Jimenez's picture
Nurses communicating about patient

by Fabiola Jimenez, RN, ACNS-BC, CWOCN

To tell you the truth, I was not exactly sure what I was getting into when I decided to go to Wound Ostomy and Continence (WOC) nursing school. My reference was my experience during my Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) clinical rotations where I worked with a colorectal surgeon and the Nurse Practitioner (NP). The patients we saw had everything to do with a WOC’s expected body of knowledge.

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Hy-Tape International's picture
Patient Activity

by Hy-Tape International

Maintaining an active lifestyle is critical to good health; this is especially true for patients recovering from wounds or extended hospital stays. Robust activity can improve mental health, reduce the risk of infection, and accelerate wound healing. Staying active can be challenging for patients with wounds, however, and it is critical that health care professionals take steps to enable their patients to stay as active as possible.

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Paula Erwin-Toth's picture
Professional Development

by Paula Erwin-Toth MSN, RN, CWOCN, CNS, FAAN

There are many certifying bodies for wound care specialists. Which one or more you chose to pursue will depend on your licensure and level of education, as well as your practice setting and the focus of your wound care practice. Even though many positions do not require certification for employment, certification can offer an advantage when vying for a position and can demonstrate your commitment to high-quality patient care. Not all certifications are created equal. Even the term "certification" can mean many different things. Unlike professional licensure, which is regulated by each state's boards of medicine, nursing, etc., certification is a term often used with less rigor than you might expect.

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Martha Kelso's picture
Reduction in Antibiotics Image

by Martha Kelso, RN, HBOT

Numerous brands of hypochlorous acid have emerged in the last few years and have been marketed as "ideal" products for use in wound cleansing. These statements, of course, should draw speculation because it is rare for a single product to be used on all wounds, all clients, in all care settings, all the time, thus making it "ideal." Let's explore the role of hypochlorous acid in wound management and wound healing and see how it assists with reduction in antibiotic usage.

Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine's picture
Wound Care Journal Club Review

Diabetes mellitus is frequently associated with chronic non-healing wounds, many of which result in amputation. The combination of peripheral vascular disease, neuropathy, and impaired immune function contributes to a higher risk of injury and deficiency in healing. Wound healing is a complex process comprising eight important factors: (1) collagen synthesis, (2) cell migration, (3) cell cycle and differentiation, (4) angiogenesis and growth hormone, (5) blood clotting, (6) extracellular matrix and focal adhesion, (7) calcium ion signaling, and (8) immune and inflammatory response. In the diabetic cell, all these processes malfunction, with the exception of collagen synthesis, cell migration, and cell cycle or differentiation.

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Susan Cleveland's picture
Long-Term Care Patient

by Susan M. Cleveland, BSN, RN, WCC, CDP, NADONA Board Secretary

As a Director of Nursing (DON) in a long-term care facility, do you know where the awareness level of diabetes and its complications is for your staff? Do they realize diabetes doesn’t stop? It is 24/7, 365 days a year. Knowing this reality of diabetes and understanding the disease process may assist with preventing serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, and nerve damage that can lead to amputation.

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Nancy Munoz's picture
Nutrition and Protein

by Nancy Munoz, DCN, MHA, RDN, FAND

The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) defines a pressure injury as localized damage to the skin and/or underlying soft tissue, usually over a bony prominence or related to a medical or other device. The injury can manifest as intact skin or an open ulcer and may be painful. The injury occurs as a result of intense and/or prolonged pressure, occasionally in combination with shear. The tolerance of soft tissue for pressure and shear may also be affected by microclimate, nutrition, perfusion, comorbidities, and the condition of the soft tissue.

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WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

by the WoundSource Editors

Acute wound: Alteration in skin integrity such as a simple laceration or a surgical wound that moves normally through the healing process and heals in a predictable timeframe without complication.

Antibiotic resistant: Organisms that have the ability to alter themselves genetically so that antibiotics do not have an inhibitory or lethal effect on them, thus allowing continued proliferation.

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