Wound Treatments

WoundSource Editors's picture
tunneling wound assessment

Perhaps the most difficult type of wound for health care professionals to treat is a tunneling wound. Tunneling wounds are named for the channels which extend from the wound, into or through subcutaneous tissue or muscle. These tunnels sometimes take twists or turns that can make wound care complicated. Tunneling is often the result of infection, previous abscess formation, sedentary lifestyle, previous surgery at the site, trauma to the wound or surrounding tissue, or the impact of pressure and shear forces upon many tissue layers causing a “sinkhole-like” defect on the skin. Tunneling wounds need careful wound assessment and management.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture
pressure injury treatment

by the WoundSource Editors

Pressure ulcers/injuries are among the most costly and prevalent conditions faced by health care professionals. It is estimated that in the United States alone, pressure injuries cost up to $11.6 billion each year with an estimated per-injury cost of $20,900 to $151,700.1 The elderly, individuals with chronic conditions such as diabetes, and those with limited mobility are significantly more likely to develop pressure injuries than other patients. It is extremely important that health care professionals understand best practice treatments to help reduce the severity and longevity of these wounds.

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

One fourth of the approximately 22.3 million patients with diabetes in the United States are expected to develop a diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) at some point during their lives, and it is estimated to affect 1-8% of diabetics annually. DFUs have shown to be challenging to treat, and often result in extended hospital stays, increased risk of infection, and subsequent amputation in certain patients. A major concern regarding amputees is a 5-year mortality rate that rivals that of patients with colon cancer. In addition, DFUs contribute heavily to the financial load of payers, with an estimated annual medical cost of up to $13 billion.

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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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Margaret Heale's picture
dressing removal

By Margaret Heale RN, MSc, CWOCN

Wounds are dressed every day, and much goes into the choices that are made to properly apply wound dressings. The condition of the periwound skin should be a major factor in the decisions made, as injuring this area can extend the wound and cause considerable pain. Tape removal is one of the most painful areas of wound care.

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Holly Hovan's picture
elderly patient skin tear prevention

Holly M. Hovan MSN, APRN, ACNS-BC, CWON-AP

I'm sure you're all familiar with the terms "prednisone skin," "thin skin," "fragile skin," or "easily bruises." One or all of these phrases are commonly used to describe our geriatric population's aging skin. As we age, so does our skin. Skin loses elasticity and often gains wrinkles. Skin conditions that were maybe never present throughout life can crop up with aging. Keep in mind that the environment and different exposures (to sunlight, smoking, and stress) can cause our skin to age differently.

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Ron Sherman's picture
road blocks to maggot debridement therapy

by Ronald Sherman MD, MSC, DTM&H

Bob Hope and Bing Crosby starred in a series of films called "On the Road" in which the duo traveled around the globe, facing a variety of amusing obstacles and mishaps. Therapists and patients desiring maggot debridement therapy (MDT) for their non-healing wounds often face a variety of obstacles, too... though they may not seem quite as amusing. Let's consider some of these obstacles and examine ways to avoid or mitigate them.

We can organize the most likely obstacles chronologically:

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Hy-Tape International's picture
dressing wound - medical adhesive

by Hy-Tape International

Nurses and other health care professionals often dress dozens of wounds in a single day. Each wound must be appropriately cared for using best practices in order to reduce the risk of infection, discomfort, and other complications. Yet many health care professionals struggle to dress wounds in difficult places, and struggle to ensure the dressing stays secure even when the patient is active. In order to more effectively dress wounds, it is important to adopt best practices for wound care and use better wound dressings and adhesives.

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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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Holly Hovan's picture
Calciphylaxis

By Holly Hovan MSN, APRN, ACNS-BC, CWON-AP

In patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD), there is a decreased renal clearance that causes an increase in phosphorus, then calcium, in the body. Elevation of these two electrolytes causes the parathyroid gland to secrete additional parathyroid hormone to compensate. This, however, leads to increased movement of phosphorus and calcium throughout the body.

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