Wound Assessment and Documentation

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The Inflammatory Phase of Wound Healing

By the WoundSource Editors

Wound healing is a complex biological process that involves a sequence of molecular and cellular events to restore damaged tissue. These events occur within the extracellular matrix, a complex three-dimensional acellular environment that is present within all tissue and essential for life. Remodeling within this extracellular matrix is necessary for tissue repair throughout the wound healing process, including during the inflammatory phase.

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Necrotic Wounds

By the WoundSource Editors

Necrotic wounds are characterized by devitalized, or dead, tissue. Necrosis may be caused by malignancy, infection, trauma, ischemia, inflammation, or exposure to toxins. It may also be caused by improper care of an existing wound site. Devitalized tissue has no blood supply, and its presence prevents wound healing. It is necessary for necrotic tissue to be removed to allow wound healing to occur.

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Scar management

By the WoundSource Editors

After an injury or surgery, the body responds by forming scar tissue. Scar formation is a normal part of the wound healing process, but not all scars are the same. Some scars form in only the superficial epidermal layers, whereas others encompass deeper subdermal layers, involving nerves and tendons. The process of scar formation is the result of myofibroblast cells forming new collagen fibers to repair a wound.

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By the WoundSource Editors

The most common type of chronic lower extremity wound is the venous ulcer, affecting 1% to 3% of the U.S. population. Chronic venous ulcers significantly impact quality of life and are a financial burden for both the patient and the health care system. In the United States, 10% to 35% of adults have chronic venous insufficiency, and 4% of adults 65 years old or older have venous ulcers. Identifying signs of venous disease early on while implementing surgical intervention, if warranted, can increase healing outcomes and decrease the recurrence of venous ulcers. Treatment of venous ulcers can include exercise, leg elevation, dressings, advanced wound care such as cellular and tissue-based products, compression therapy, medications, venous ablation, and surgical intervention.

Holly Hovan's picture
Discharge Planning

Holly M. Hovan MSN, RN-BC, APRN, CWOCN-AP

You might notice the hospital halls seem a little quieter around the holidays, the unit census may be down, and patients may be asking about their discharge plans. The holidays can be a time when patients want to be home (when they're able to).

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Wound Infection

By the WoundSource Editors

With multiple risk factors impeding wound healing and wounds often diagnosed with mixed etiology, wound healing can be complicated. Understanding the pathophysiology of wound healing can help clinicians to better comprehend the needs of a wound to help it progress through the stages of wound healing.

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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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Telehealth

By Cathy Wogamon, DNP, MSN, FNP-BC, CWON, CFCN

Wound care has evolved into a massive specialty service in the past few decades, with new treatment modalities, advances in care, and thousands of wound care products. On the forefront of advancements in technology and wound care is a new way to provide care to the patient: telehealth.

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Edema

By the WoundSource Editors

Edema is the abnormalaccumulation of excess fluid within tissue. The swelling associated with edema can be localized to a small area following an acute injury, it can affect an entire limb or a specific organ, or it can be generalized throughout the entire body. Edema is not a disease, but rather a symptom that can indicate general health status, side effects of medications, or serious underlying medical conditions.

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Wound Care Lawsuits

By Diane L. Krasner, PhD, RN, FAAN

Originally a poster first conceived in 2009, "Six Sticky Wickets That Commonly Occur in Wound Care Lawsuits" is as relevant today as it was a decade ago. In my review of wound care medical malpractice cases, I see these six difficult situations ("sticky wickets") occurring all too often. Strategies for avoiding the Six Sticky Wickets have been updated and are discussed here.