Atypical and Complex Wounds

Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine's picture

By Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine Journal Review Club

An appropriate timeline to initiate biofilm-based wound care (BBWC) has been a topic of question since the incorporation of biofilm therapy was introduced. In hard-to-heal delayed wounds, it is largely agreed upon that biofilms are a significant barrier to healing, and that removal is essential. By definition, hard-to-heal wounds are wounds that have failed to respond to evidence-based standard of care and contain biofilm. Biofilms are polymicrobial communities residing in an extracellular matrix produced by bacteria, which is well-hydrated and resistant against antimicrobial agents and host defenses. Biofilm can form within hours, can reach maturity within 48-72 hours, and has the ability to regrow within 24-48 hours. A first critical step to BBWC is debridement, though it requires additional suppression methods, as well as considerations of a patient’s risk factors. Risk factors include peripheral vascular disease, infection, diabetes, and pressure off-loading, which encourage biofilm development by delaying wound healing. Risks and costs with early BBWC are most likely less than those associated with biofilm-related wound complications. Thus, in March 2019, a panel of nine experts met in London for an Advisory Board Meeting, where they developed solutions to barriers preventing early BBWC and methods of appropriate “wound hygiene” for all health professionals. They reconvened in the summer of 2019 to create a clinical consensus document published in the Journal of Wound Care supported by ConvaTec Limited.

Paula Erwin-Toth's picture

Paula Erwin-Toth, RN, MSN, FAAN

Hello to my wound care colleagues around the world. As I write this blog, the news relating to the results of COVID-19 continues to provide evidence of the profound impact this pandemic has had on those suffering from the disease and the negative impact shut downs and quarantines have had on the health of people with chronic illnesses. We, as health care providers, are under tremendous stress as many of us have been re-deployed to maintain and support the overwhelming challenges of front-line health care providers serving patients with COVID-19. We, too, are on the front lines helping to maintain skin integrity in critically ill patients who are often intubated and placed in the prone position. The physical, emotional, and financial strains on patients, health care providers, businesses, and governments are going to affect us for years to come.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

By the WoundSource Editors

Wounds of the lower extremity, such as chronic venous leg ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers, often have a severe impact on patients' quality of life. Symptoms may range from mild to debilitating, depending on the location of the injury and its severity. These types of wounds also affect a tremendous number of people because lower extremity wounds are estimated to occur in up to 13% of the United States population. The estimated annual cost of treating lower extremity wounds is at least $20 billion in the United States.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

By the WoundSource Editors

Chronic wounds pose an ongoing challenge for clinicians, and there needs to be a clearer understanding of the pathophysiology of wound chronicity and treatment modalities available.

Christine Miller's picture
Wound Healing During COVID

By Christine Miller DPM, PhD

It is an understatement to say that these are trying and uncertain times, as we ride this unpredictable wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. All of us in wound healing as part of the greater health care force are deemed essential, so we cannot "shelter in place." As health care workers, we have to balance our duty to render care with that of protecting ourselves, a tricky tightrope balancing act. The media coverage of this pandemic is constant and anxiety producing, but it has made me ponder the term essential and what that truly means to our patients.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

By the WoundSource Editors

The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Whether you are a provider or a frontline health care professional, we are experiencing a worldwide increase in “unavoidable” medical device–related pressure injuries (MDRPIs) during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Health care workers are challenged with a higher risk of pressure injury development secondary to prolonged wear time of the N95 mask, face shield, and goggle personal protective equipment (PPE). The intensity of one or more factors of pressure, moisture, shear, and friction influence pressure injury risk.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

By the WoundSource Editors

The current COVID-19 pandemic has changed various aspects of care across the health care continuum. Health care professionals have been forced to develop different strategies for engagement for those patients at higher risk for infection, those who are quarantined, and those who have tested positive for COVID-19. We know that telemedicine cannot replace an in-person visit to a provider, but during this time of crisis it serves as an advanced approach in wound care.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

By the WoundSource Editors

Wound care professionals are feeling the challenges of caring for patients with wounds during the COVID-19 pandemic. Coming together during this time is paramount for developing the best strategy for delivering quality of care across the continuum. Providers should implement wound management protocols for their specific health care setting to be most efficient.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

By the WoundSource Editors

COVID-19: The name of the disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). The abbreviation COVID-19 is short for coronavirus disease 2019.

Fit test: A 15- to 20-minute testing of the seal between the respirator's facepiece and your face. After passing a fit test with a respirator, you must use the exact same make, model, style, and size respirator on the job.

Liquid sealant: Liquid skin sealants are designed to protect vulnerable areas from the effects of skin injury. They form a transparent protective coating on the skin. Indicated for use on stage 1 pressure injuries and low-exudating stage 2 pressure ulcers, pressure points and bony prominences, and under adhesive products to protect the skin.

Becky Naughton's picture

By Becky Naughton, RN, MSN, FNP-C, WCC

If you've ever had a painful red bump after shaving, you've probably chalked this up to razor burn or an ingrown hair. After an irritating day or so, the bumps will likely fade and disappear on their own, and you don't give it any more thought. But what if these bumps just kept growing and became more and more painful? And even worse, what if they developed in sensitive areas such as the axilla or the groin? What if these bumps got so bad, they eventually opened, started to drain, and even formed tracts under the skin? Not only are these bumps painful, but they are also embarrassing. Forget about wearing a sleeveless shirt or bathing suit in the summer. Would people think you had a horrific contagious disease? You go to doctor after doctor, but no one has been able to treat this successfully. The bumps may disappear for some time but then suddenly reappear. They may leave scars that seem to open and close persistently, and at times they may become infected, requiring antibiotic therapy. Finally, you get the diagnosis for this awful condition: hidradenitis suppurativa (HS).