Laurie Swezey

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aerobic proteus bacteria in a wound
February 5th, 2016

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...

Wound Assessment Tools
November 19th, 2015

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...

identifying infected wounds
October 21st, 2015

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...

Computer Exam
September 24th, 2015

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...

Amniotic membrane
August 19th, 2015

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...

wound care 101 - wound debridement
July 23rd, 2015

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...

adipose tissue
July 14th, 2015

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...

total contact casting
May 21st, 2015

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...

superficial venous insufficiency ulcer
May 14th, 2015

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...

maceration of periwound skin
April 15th, 2015

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...

Skin moisture
April 2nd, 2015

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

Patients with bariatric needs present a special challenge in terms of skin care and prevention of pressure ulcers. Once damage to the skin occurs, bariatric patients...

phases of wound healing
March 19th, 2015

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

Do you understand the difference between acute and chronic wounds? If you answered that acute wounds are wounds that have been present for a shorter duration of time, you are correct—but there are many other differences in acute and...

December 23rd, 2014

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

There are many benefits to taking an online course to prepare yourself to write a wound care certification exam. The following outlines...

November 25th, 2014

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

You've learned all you can about wound care. Perhaps you've been working in wound care for a while and have decided that you would like to pursue wound care certification to showcase your knowledge and give you a leg up at work (and...

October 28th, 2014

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

This article is designed to provide a review of cellulitis, an infection affecting the skin which can be life-threatening if not treated.

What is cellulitis?

Cellulitis is the term used to describe inflammation of the...

September 19th, 2014

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

There is more to wound care diagnostics than swabbing a wound to determine whether infection is present. Advances in science and...

August 29th, 2014

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

Wound irrigation, when performed properly, can enhance wound healing. It is not as simple as pouring normal saline over a wound prior to dressing it – it must be performed properly in order to get the most out of this frequently...

July 30th, 2014

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

Staying up-to-date with the latest in wound care can be challenging, given that there are new treatments being developed, research being reviewed, updates to guidelines and recommendations being published as well as new products coming...

Tunneling Wound
June 25th, 2014

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

As part of a thorough wound assessment, in addition to noting location and measuring size, the entire wound bed should be probed for the presence of...

May 9th, 2014

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

Wound care diagnostics includes examination of wounds for the purpose of wound classification. Why does it matter? It matters because treatment...

April 8th, 2014

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

Pressure ulcer risk assessment is crucial to the prevention of pressure ulcers. There are many factors which put certain patients at higher risk of developing these painful injuries that increase health care costs and lead to prolonged...

March 18th, 2014

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

The measurement of a wound, and the plotting of its size over time, is the only estimate that can be used to accurately predict wound healing. This includes such variables as wound exudate, the presence of necrotic tissue, slough and...

February 18th, 2014

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

Skin tears are a common problem among the elderly due to increased skin fragility associated with aging. Due to the increasing prevalence of this problem, and the potential for poor and/or delayed wound healing in the elderly...

December 31st, 2013

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

Thinking about becoming a certified wound care professional? If you have been researching your options, you may have come away more confused than ever. There are many certification bodies, all with different options and requirements,...

November 18th, 2013

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

Many health care professionals are becoming certified as wound care providers due to the increased demand that has arisen due to the aging of the population and an increase in other wound risk factors including diabetes and obesity....

October 7th, 2013

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

Necrotic tissue that is present in a wound presents a physical impediment to healing. Simply put, wounds cannot heal when necrotic tissue is present. In this article, we'll define...

September 4th, 2013

by Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS
Radiation is used to kill cancer cells. Unfortunately, radiation does not discriminate between cancer cells and healthy cells. Skin cells are particularly vulnerable, and almost everyone who undergoes radiation will experience some skin...

July 22nd, 2013

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

Lymphedema can be defined as swelling of one or more limbs which may also include a portion of the corresponding trunk. Lymphedema can also affect the breast, head, neck or...

June 6th, 2013

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

Dressing changes can be painful experiences for clients. Pain is often not addressed or may be addressed inadequately. Pain is a significant issue for many clients and can present a...

May 23rd, 2013

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

Although the standard treatment for infected wounds continues to include antimicrobial therapy, other therapies are...

April 19th, 2013

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

Diabetic foot ulceration can lead to significant morbidity and mortality and is probably one of the most-feared complications of...

March 20th, 2013

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

We've all experienced difficulty in getting dressings to stay on for as long as we need them to, especially when there are many commercial dressings that could (and should) remain in place for...

February 19th, 2013

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

Skin grafting of surgical wounds is performed for wounds that are difficult to close using traditional closure methods, such...

January 24th, 2013

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

Arterial ulcers can cause much pain for patients and consternation for the wound care professionals tasked with managing them. Arterial ulcers can be a catch-22...

December 13th, 2012

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

Pressure mapping has traditionally been used by physiotherapists, occupational therapists, chiropractors, orthotists and other...

August 1st, 2012

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

Compression therapy is the “gold standard” for the treatment of venous ulcers. However, compression therapy is not a one-size-fits-all treatment and the...

wound tunneling, undermining
July 1st, 2012

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

Tunneling wounds can be difficult to heal and often take several weeks to months to close. The following will discuss tunneling wounds and how...

May 31st, 2012

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

According to the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP, 2007), a support surface is “a specialized device for pressure redistribution designed for management of...

April 3rd, 2012

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

There are more than 3,000 types of wound dressings available on the market today, and more are being launched every day. Although there are a number...

March 7th, 2012

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

The rate of wound closure is affected by systemic and local factors, as well as a number of the wound’s own inherent characteristics. It is important to understand...

February 1st, 2012

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

Whirlpool therapy, or hydrotherapy, is one of the oldest adjuvant forms of treatment for wounds still in use today. It was originally used in pain management, but later found a use in...

January 5th, 2012

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

During our training, we are all taught about the three phases of normal wound healing: inflammation, proliferation, and remodeling. This is a relatively well-understood area of wound management, and one that is predictable and...

December 7th, 2011

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

Ultrasound was successfully used as a non-invasive diagnostic tool for years before its potential benefits in wound healing were first investigated. Ultrasound waves, formed when electrical energy is converted to sound waves at...

November 7th, 2011

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

When we are caught up in complex treatment protocols or surrounded by paperwork, it is sometimes easy to forget that the one thing that really matters in wound management is achieving wound closure. When a wound has closed properly,...

October 6th, 2011

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

Diabetic foot ulcers are one of the most dreaded complications of diabetes, and represent a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. It is estimated that a lower...

September 2nd, 2011

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

Patient care must always be centered holistically, considering the specific problem that the patient is being treated for, as well as all other factors that may affect patient wellbeing. Wound care is no different: in addition to wound...

August 4th, 2011

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

The sheer number of dressings available makes choosing the correct dressing for clients a difficult proposition. Clinicians today have a much wider variety of products to choose from, which can lead to confusion and, sometimes, the...

July 5th, 2011

by Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, FACCWS

Our eating habits are ingrained in us from an early age, and are often difficult to change. Eating is not...

June 3rd, 2011

by Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, FACCWS

Making decisions in today’s wound care world must take several entities into account. The patient/client and the practitioner must work together to decide on a dressing protocol that meets the needs of both. Additionally, the needs of the...

May 5th, 2011

by Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, FACCWS

Heels are particularly vulnerable to skin breakdown. The posterior heel is only covered by a thin layer of skin and fat, and that makes breakdown a very real risk. When patients lie supine, all of the pressure of their lower legs and feet...

March 7th, 2011

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

Antimicrobial dressings have enjoyed a surge of popularity in recent years- there are now many dressing products on the market containing antimicrobials. However, just...

January 24th, 2011

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

There are numerous types of dermal lesions that may affect the skin. Dermal lesions may be classified as either primary or secondary lesions:

December 14th, 2010

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

Health care professionals encounter burns in their patient populations frequently, and must be able to differentiate between types of burns, as well as know how to treat burn injuries using current...