Chronic Wounds

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture
Chronic Wound Tissue

by The WoundSource Editors

To witness the normal wound healing process is extraordinary. However, the systematic process of healing is not always perfect. Chronic wounds are complex and present an immense burden in health care. Identifying the wound etiology is important, but an accurate wound assessment is just as important. The color, consistency, and texture of wound tissue will lead you to the most appropriate wound management plan.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture
Wound Healing

by The WoundSource Editors

There are four stages of wound healing. This systematic process moves in a linear direction. The four stages of wound healing are: hemostasis, inflammation, proliferation, and maturation. It is imperative to remember that wound healing is not linear. It is possible for a patient to move forward or backward through the wound healing phases due to intrinsic and extrinsic forces.

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WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

by the WoundSource Editors

Calciphylaxis: A disorder, generally found in end stage renal disease, but not limited to renal patients, with widespread calcification of small and medium sized vessels, that leads to occlusion, thrombosis, and tissue necrosis. Extreme cases can be life-threatening.

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WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture
Patient with oxygen mask

by the WoundSource Editors

When developing the plan of care for the patient with a chronic wound, it is imperative first to look at the "whole" patient and not just the "hole" in the patient.1 As we do, we are able to review any medical conditions or disease states that may affect wound repair and healing. Millions of Americans are affected by chronic wounds each year. These wounds include causes such as diabetic foot ulcers, venous leg ulcers, arterial insufficiency, and pressure ulcers. Common comorbid conditions that can affect healing include diabetes, venous insufficiency, peripheral arterial disease, cardiopulmonary and oxygen transport conditions, immune deficiencies, and dementia.2 This discussion is focused on these conditions and factors that contribute to chronic wounds and their management.

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WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture
Nurse with Patient

by WoundSource Editors

Chronic wounds are any types of wounds that have failed to heal in 90 days. Identifying the cause of a chronic wound is most important in the healing process. We as clinicians must help bolster advanced wound care by sharing advances in education in evidence-based treatment, prevention, and wound assessment.

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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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WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

by the WoundSource Editors

Chronic wound: Any wound failing to heal in 90 days.

Periwound: The periwound is the tissue surrounding the wound itself, limiting to 4cm. This tissue provides a barrier to the wound.

Undermining: Presents as a space between intact skin and the wound bed, resulting from shearing forces and sustained pressure.

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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.

Industry News's picture

Dermalink Technologies Inc. (Dermalink) is pleased to announce the development of the first of its novel biofilm-disrupting products for the U.S. wound care market. The core ingredient, Lauroyl Arginine Ethylester (LAE), has been available in Europe for several years, where it has rapidly established itself as a proven anti-Biofilm agent in the food and dental markets.

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Strategies for Infection Prevention

by the WoundSource Editors

Effective wound management and the prevention of infection for patients with wounds are not only key to wound improvement, but also to avoiding a slide into a state of chronicity. Unfortunately, many wounds that start out simple turn into chronic wounds because of the complications associated with comorbid conditions and secondary infection. Approximately 6.7 million patients in the United States are affected by chronic wounds, and the pervasiveness of these wounds and their connection to other chronic illnesses are underappreciated. That said, estimates for treatment costs are in excess of $50 billion annually.1

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