Risk Factors

Samantha Kuplicki's picture
Surgeon Changing Gloves

By Samantha Kuplicki MSN, MSN, APRN-CNS, AGNCS-BC, CWCN-AP, CWS, RNFA, CFCN

Surgical site infections (SSIs) are the most frequent complications in colorectal surgery procedures, with the documented incidence in literature ranging from 3% to 30%. (And, as we discussed in a previous installment, patient-specific risk factors can be the most challenging to control.) In response to these data, the American College of Surgeons and The Joint Commission’s Center for Transforming Healthcare launched a collaborative effort in 2012 to reduce colorectal SSIs.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture
pressure injury risk assessment

by the WoundSource Editors

Pressure ulcers/injuries pose a major risk to patients by increasing morbidity and mortality and causing significant discomfort.1 They are also prevalent, particularly in long-term care facilities, where patient populations may be at higher risk of developing pressure injuries as a result of factors of age, immobility, and comorbidities.2 To reduce the incidence of pressure injuries effectively, nurses and other health care professionals should be aware of the risk factors and the means to evaluate patients. This will allow caregivers to take steps to prevent problems before they develop and treat them more effectively if they do.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture
pressure injury prevention and management

by the WoundSource Editors

Nurses and other health care professionals providing care to patients regularly face challenges that can make it more difficult to perform routine tasks and ensure patient comfort and well-being, especially with regard to pressure ulcer/injury prevention and treatment. From a lack of mobility to chronic diseases, these challenges often coincide and interplay, creating unique risks and complications in managing the care of patients.

Hy-Tape International's picture
Wound Care and Infection Management

by Hy-Tape International

Infections are one of the most serious complications associated with wounds. Even for wounds resulting from clean surgery, studies find the infection rate to be 8% among the general population, and 25% among those above 60 years old.1 This makes infection prevention one of the most important components of effective wound management. By implementing wound care best practices using effective, sterile medical tape, nurses and other healthcare professionals can make dressings more secure and reduce the risk of cross contamination, improving patient outcomes and promoting rapid wound healing.2,3,4

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Margaret Heale's picture
nurse transporting patient in wheelchair

by Margaret Heale, RN, MSc, CWOCN

It has become quite easy to look at pressure ulcer prevention in most health care settings. From acute care, through the ED and on to the OR and ITU, then to the various floors of med surg, orthopedic, not forgetting rehab and community nursing. Pediatric and neonatal units have better defined pressure ulcer risk assessment tools to utilize that have made assessment and planning care much less haphazard for those patients than in the past. The prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers does not lay with any one of the above areas but all of them, all the time for every patient at risk.

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Mary Ellen Posthauer's picture
toothbrushes

by Mary Ellen Posthauer RDN, CD, LD, FAND

While the focus of nutrition interventions for wound healing involve the amount of protein, calories and beverages provided and consumed, we tend to forget the importance of good oral hygiene.

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Aletha Tippett MD's picture
Braden Scale

by Aletha Tippett MD

The first step pressure ulcer prevention is conducting a thorough assessment of the patient. This includes a full body examination with special attention to pressure points, looking for any color changes, pain or bogginess. The assessment also looks at the patient’s overall health and comorbidities.

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WoundSource Editors's picture

by the WoundSource Editors

Litigation over hospital-acquired pressure ulcers represents a significant fraction of a medical malpractice attorney's caseload. The liability issues have shifted since October 1, 2008 when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and several private payers began denying reimbursement for care related to hospital-acquired stage III and IV pressure ulcer. Prior to October 2008, the experts battled over whether a pressure ulcer was avoidable. Now, they still do, but plaintiff attorneys and their experts can point to the government's stance that pressure ulcers are avoidable, "never events". Defense experts must assert that everything possible was done to avoid the ulcer, or it was not really caused by pressure.

WoundSource Editors's picture
Image from the National Cancer Institute

by the WoundSource Editors

A myriad of factors need to be addressed when evaluating a patient with a wound. A thorough patient history, including previous wounds, surgeries, hospitalizations, and past and existing conditions will help guide your clinical assessment, in addition to a number of questions specific to the wound(s) being assessed. Following is a list of general questions to ask when evaluating a wound care patient. (Please note that this list is not comprehensive and is intended only to serve as a guide):

WoundSource Editors's picture

by the WoundSource Editors

The term diabetic foot refers generally to the increased occurrence of complications in the feet of patients with diabetes mellitus. The most common foot problems related to diabetes are peripheral neuropathy leading to ulceration, vascular disease, increased risk of infection, and deformities like Charcot arthropathy. Complications arising from diabetes are the most common non-traumatic injury to cause lower extremity amputation.

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