Laurie Swezey's blog

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aerobic proteus bacteria in a wound

by Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

Activated charcoal has been used in various types of wound care dressings. Although charcoal in itself does not enhance wound healing, it can help to minimize the odors associated with wounds. This is important, as wound odor can be very distressing for the patient, and the patient's family and caregivers.

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Wound Assessment Tools

by Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

There are many tools that can be used to assess wounds. It is important to be aware of these tools and what they measure. It is also important to become knowledgeable about the tool(s) used in your workplace.
by Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

There are many tools that can be used to assess wounds. It is important to be aware of these tools and what they measure. It is also important to become knowledgeable about the tool(s) used in your workplace.

PUSH Tool
The Pressure Ulcer Scale for Healing (PUSH) tool is a fast and accurate tool used to measure the status of pressure wounds over time. The tool was designed by the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) and has been validated many times over. The NPUAP recommends that the tool be used on a regular basis, at least weekly or whenever the patient or wound status changes. The PUSH tool measures three parameters that are considered most indicative of healing:

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identifying infected wounds

by Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

As health care providers, we are all familiar with the signs of wound inflammation. However, it can sometimes be difficult to determine whether a wound is inflamed, undergoing the normal and expected inflammatory response to tissue injury, or infected. In this article we’ll review the definition of infection and assessment of the potentially infected wound.

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Computer Exam

by Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

You want to become certified in wound care. That’s a great decision – the field is wide open and wound care consultants are in high demand. Wondering about the certification process and how you can write the exam? Here’s what you should expect at the wound care board examination.

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Amniotic membrane

by Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

The human amniotic membrane has been used in wound care for almost a century. It is now enjoying a resurgence in use in wound care, thanks to new techniques that allow this unique material to be dried and stored for prolonged periods of time.

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wound care 101 - wound debridement

by Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

There are four main types of wound debridement: mechanical, autolytic, enzymatic, and surgical. Each form of debridement has its own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at each method individually:

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adipose tissue

by Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

Obesity has become a major problem in our society. According to the CDC Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, more than one-third of adults in the United States are considered obese (CDC, 2015). Obesity is known to complicate a number of health issues, including wound healing. How exactly does obesity impact wound healing?

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total contact casting

by Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

Total contact casting (TCC) is considered to be the 'gold standard' in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. Although TCC is often very successful in healing diabetic foot ulcers, this treatment modality is not used as often as it could be.

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superficial venous insufficiency ulcer

by Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

Lower extremity venous insufficiency ulcers represent approximately 80% of the leg ulcers typically seen in wound care facilities. The following statistics help to bring home the seriousness and chronicity of this common health problem:

  • Healing time for venous insufficiency ulcers averages 24 weeks
  • Approximately 15% of these ulcers will never heal
  • In 15 to 71% of cases of venous insufficiency ulcers, the ulcers represent a recurrent lesion
  • It is estimated that the cost of treating venous insufficiency ulcers is 1 to 5 billion dollars every year
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maceration of periwound skin

by Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

A wound that is too moist can be as detrimental to wound healing as a wound that is too dry. When a wound is too moist, the skin surrounding the wound, known as the periwound, can become macerated. Skin that is macerated is vulnerable to breakdown, leading to a possible increase in wound size.

What can be done to protect the vulnerable periwound? There are several prevention strategies that can be used to prevent maceration and further skin breakdown.

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