Wound Assessment

WoundSource Editors's picture
post-operative wound drainage

As health care professionals monitor the wound drainage of a patient, it is critical to be able to recognize the different types of wound drainage. Open wounds and incision wounds may both present varying types of exudate, some of which are perfectly healthy and others which can signal an infection or slow healing. Identifying wounds that need a change in care can speed the healing process.

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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.

Holly Hovan's picture
Moisture on Skin

By Holly Hovan MSN, APRN, CWOCN-AP

A series analyzing the use of the Braden Scale for Predicting Pressure Sore Risk® in the long-term care setting. For part 1, click here.

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Surgical wound drainage

In normal wound healing, exudate plays an important role in allowing the migration of cells across the wound bed, facilitating the distribution of growth and immune factors vital to healing. Managing wound drainage involves making sure that exudate production is not too much or too little, and making sure the exudate does not have pus which would indicate an infection. Proper wound drainage management improves the patient's quality of life, promotes healing, and enhances health care effectiveness.

WoundSource Editors's picture
wound healing

Promoting the wound healing process is a primary responsibility for most health care practitioners. It can take 1-3 days for a closed wound to actually establish a seal. Infections usually occur in 3-6 days but may not appear for up to 30 days, according to the CDC guidelines for preventing surgical infections. The wound healing process can be seen as an overlapping healing continuum, which can be divided into four primary phases:

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Holly Hovan's picture
neuropathy testing for sensory perception (Braden Scale)

By Holly Hovan MSN, APRN, CWOCN-AP

A series analyzing the use of the Braden Scale for Predicting Pressure Sore Risk® in the long-term care setting. For Part 2, click here.

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Holly Hovan's picture
comparison

By Holly Hovan MSN, APRN, CWOCN-AP

As wound care clinicians, we are aware that part of the process of consulting requires a comprehensive wound assessment, looking at wound characteristics, causative factors, and drainage. As I've previously mentioned, we've all heard the term, "a dry cell is a dead cell." However, not all wounds are dry.

Cheryl Carver's picture
pressure-injuries

By Cheryl Carver LPN, WCC, CWCA, CWCP, FACCWS, DAPWCA, CLTC

Incorrect staging of pressure injuries can cause many types of repercussions. Incorrect documentation can also be worse than no documentation. Pressure injuries and staging mistakes are avoidable, so educating clinicians how to stage with confidence is the goal.