Wound Care 101

Janet Wolfson's picture
lymphedema and the lymphatic system

By Janet Wolfson PT, CLWT, CWS, CLT-LANA

If you had a chance to read last month's blog on the lymphedema and the lymphatic system, you're probably still amazed that such a wonderful system that provides immunity and handles fluid in our bodies exists in such secrecy. This blog discusses what can go wrong with the lymphatic system. Because this network has many parts throughout the body, with cells that generated and living in different areas, whose complexity needs consideration with other disease processes or surgery, and must be constructed in 9 months of gestation... A lot could go wrong!

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Margaret Heale's picture
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compression wrapping

By Margaret Heale RN, MSc, CWOCN

Wrapping wounds is an art, and hence, it comes easily to some and more difficult to others. This post won't make you a wound dressing artist, but it does provide some tips for good bandaging techniques. The word "bandage" (in the US) often refers to a primary dressing, so "wrap" better describes a bandage that is long, narrow, and may be used to secure a primary dressing or obtain graduated compression on a limb.

Jeffrey M. Levine's picture

by Jeffrey Levine MD

Pressure injury prevention and management are sometimes overlooked in the hospital setting, where the focus is generally on acute illness. Given the immense implications in terms of cost, complications, reputation, and risk management, it is in the interest of all facilities to maximize quality of care with regard to wounds. This post will offer some suggestions on how this can be accomplished in hospitals by tweaking the system for maximum quality.

Janet Wolfson's picture
the lymphatic system

By Janet Wolfson PT, CLWT, CWS, CLT-LANA

When I talk to my patients with lymphedema, I often need to tell them about their lymphatic system. Beyond knowing of lymph nodes or glands in their neck, most don't recall having heard anything about it. Surprisingly, today's medical students often have less than one hour on the lymphatic system education in medical school.

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Martin Vera's picture
diabetic foot ulcer

By Martin D. Vera LVN, CWS

In this last of our three-part series on lower extremity wounds, we will focus our attention to diabetic foot/neuropathic ulcers. Research indicates that the United States national average for diabetes mellitus (DM) accounts for a little over 8% of the nation, or roughly over 18 million Americans afflicted with this disease—what the industry refers to "the silent killer" for the amount of damage it causes. DM has the capacity to affect vision and circulation, as well as increase the incidence of stroke and renal disease, just to name a few associated problems. Over 20% of individuals with diabetes will develop ulcerations, with a recurrence rate of over 50% for diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) alone. Overall, lower extremity wounds have recurrence rate of 40-90%. We have our work cut out for us. So, let's put our deuces up, recognize early intervention, and try our best to manage and prevent complications associated with DM.

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Martin Vera's picture
Arterial Wounds

by Martin D. Vera LVN, CWS

As we move forward in our continuation of lower extremity wounds, we will now turn our attention to arterial wounds. In my previous post, we discussed challenges with venous leg ulcers. Lower extremity wounds continue to challenge clinicians on a daily basis. We often refer to them as "the big three" – or how I like to refer to them, "the pesky triplets." It doesn't matter what we call them, we know we are referring to venous leg ulcers, arterial ulcers, and diabetic foot ulcers. In no way shape or manner will we disregard the many other types of lower extremity wounds we may encounter as wound clinicians, but these three are the most common and often present with treatment challenges.

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Paula Erwin-Toth's picture
questions in wound care

On April 26, 2017, I presented a webinar on WoundSource.com on the topic of Moisture-Associated Skin Damage (MASD). Afterwards, there was a Q&A session with the participants of the webinar. This is a selection of some of those questions and their answers.

Janet Wolfson's picture
patient interview questions

by Janet Wolfson PT, CLWT, CWS, CLT-LANA

I was recently listening to one of my favorite news sources, NPR, enjoying an interview with James E. Ryan, the author of "Wait, What? - and Life's Other Essential Questions". The premise was that asking the right questions can lead to a happier and more successful life. A physician called in to relate that this was something he had been doing in his medical practice. I couldn't have agreed more – the questions I ask my patients (and then listening to their answers) can go a long way toward making an intervention in their health care more successful.

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Martin Vera's picture
venous assessment

by Martin D. Vera, LVN, CWS

Wound clinicians across the nation (and the world) are commonly faced with the difficult task of managing lower extremity wounds. Lower extremity wounds come in many different forms. We are not faced with a generic type, but several—in fact, we never know what we'll be presented with day-to-day.

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Margaret Heale's picture
personalized medicine

Margaret Heale, RN, MSc, CWOCN

"Personalized medicine" is apparently a new concept that has evolved from taking good family histories, then adding a genetic testing component. The idea is to help assess the risk of specific traits that may be evident, and confirm with genetic testing so patients can make lifestyle changes that reduce risk. It has attracted a huge amount of attention over the past few years.

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