Atypical and Complex Wounds

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Fistulas

By the WoundSource Editors

Fistulas are abnormal connections or passageways between two organs or vessels that do not usually connect. Although they typically develop as a result of an injury or surgery, they can also be caused by infection or inflammation. The World Health Organization estimates that there are between 50,000 and 100,000 new cases of obstetric fistula annually, and the number of all types of fistulas is substantially higher.

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Pilonidal Cyst

By the WoundSource Editors

A pilonidal cyst is a pimple-like cyst typically located in the sacrococcygeal region of the body, usually near the top of the intergluteal cleft (also referred to as the natal cleft). Rarely, pilonidal cysts may also manifest between digits. This common condition is seen most frequently in men who are between 16 and 24 years old. The name "pilonidal”" is derived from Latin and literally means "nest of hair" because this condition frequently involves a hair follicle. The pit of the pilonidal cyst contains hair and skin debris that produce a foreign body reaction, resulting in localized inflammation and pain.

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How Being a Wound Specialist Can Help You Survive a Werewolf or Vampire Bite

By Emily Greenstein, APRN, CNP, CWON

It’s that time of year again. For the leaves to change, all the ghouls and goblins to come alive, and for a sudden influx of sugar! After the success of last year's blog post "How Being a Wound Specialist Can Help You Survive a Zombie Apocalypse," I knew I had to do another Halloween-themed post. In my practice I have seen an influx of animals bites this summer, which got me to thinking, what if you were bitten by a werewolf or vampire?

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Frequently Asked Questions

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

Reflecting back on "In the Trenches With Lymphedema," WoundSource's June Practice Accelerator webinar, many people sent in questions. I have addressed some regarding compression use here.

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Compression therapy for wound management

By Alton R. Johnson Jr, DPM

Four weeks ago, I was granted the privilege to treat a patient with type 2 diabetes with neuropathy who presented to the wound care center after developing a full-thickness pressure ulceration on the lateral aspect of her right leg as a result of an ill-fitted brace used four weeks earlier. The first clinical feature I noticed about the patient's lower extremity compared with the previous encounter was marked increased pitting edema. As a sequela of the lack of compression, the patient's lower extremity edema had increased, causing the wound to break down further in comparison with our last encounter with her. I first asked the patient why she discontinued the multipurpose tubular bandage that was dispensed and applied to her right extremity during the last visit. Her immediate response was that the home health aide had disposed of it by mistake; however, the patient stated that the aide used an available non-compressive stockinette instead.

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By the WoundSource Editors

Caseous necrosis: Caseous necrosis is found in tuberculosis, syphilis, and some fungal diseases. It forms in response to intracellular pathogens, such as mycobacteria, and can also be found in association with granulomas. With this type of cell death, the tissue assumes a cheese-like appearance.

Clostridium difficile: Also referred to C. diff, this bacterium can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon. On a lesion, semihard nodules may be found, in which case lymph node tuberculosis may be present.

Complex wounds: Wounds that have one or more complicating factor, such as exudate, infection, comorbidity, or polypharmacy. They can be acute or chronic wounds that defy cure with conventional therapies. Treating complex wounds generally requires a multidisciplinary approach.

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Factors Contributing to Complex Wounds

By the WoundSource Editors

A vast percentage of wounds become chronically stalled because of mixed etiology and other underlying comorbid medical conditions. This means the wound is multifactorial, and using a singular approach won’t be enough. Lower extremity wounds, for example, can have diabetes, venous and arterial issues, and pressure all as factors playing into the same wound.

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Wound Infection

By the WoundSource Editors

Although complex wounds typically present with clinical challenges in treatment, there are certain types of wounds that clinicians are used to facing: pressure wounds , arterial wounds, venous wounds, diabetic wounds, moisture-related wounds, end-of-life wounds, dehisced or complicated surgical wounds, and wounds of mixed etiology. However, the uncommon complex wounds are the ones often misdiagnosed or misidentified because of a lack of understanding or even ability to have them diagnosed properly. Often the rare or unusual skin lesions or ulcers require advanced diagnostic capabilities, such as the ability to perform a biopsy, tissue culture, radiological study, or other examination. So how do you know that what you’re treating is what you think you’re treating?

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Complex Wounds

By the WoundSource Editors

Complex wounds pose a significant challenge for many health care providers. These wounds are often multifaceted, making treatment tremendously difficult. They represent a substantial burden on the health care industry, with annual costs in North America alone estimated at $10 billion annually. They often also result in patient discomfort and pain, caregiver frustration, individual economic losses, and diminished quality of life.

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Skin Care

By Fabiola Jimenez, RN, ACNS-BC, CWOCN

Have you noticed the tissue trauma that occurs to the posterior aspect of the scrotum? It appears like road rash, partial tissue loss, and denudation. Many times it is weepy, and looks it appears quite painful to the patient.