Chronic Wound Assessment and Management: Important Terms to Know

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by the WoundSource Editors

Glycemic control: management of blood glucose levels.

Inflammatory phase: the body’s natural response to injury. Once hemostasis is achieved blood vessels dilate to increase blood flow allowing antibodies, white blood cells, growth factors, enzymes, oxygen and nutrients to the injured area. It is characterized by redness, pain, warmth, and swelling.

Proliferative phase: the rebuilding phase of wound healing with new granulation tissue consisting of collagen and extracellular matrix. These structures provide the foundation for new blood vessels to develop via angiogenesis.

Maturation phase: the final phase of wound healing, which begins when the wound has achieved closure. The cellular activities in this phase include collagen remodeling, capillary regression, and maximizing tensile strength of the scar tissue. Clinical observations include contraction, thinning, and paling of scar tissue.

Neuropathy: dysfunction of the nerves, typically in the extremities, that leads to weakness and numbness or loss of protective sensation.

Oxygen transport: the carrying of oxygen, absorbed by hemoglobin in the lungs, to peripheral tissues.

Contaminated: the presence of non-replicating bacteria in the wound; the host controls the replication, and healing is not impaired.

Critical colonization: concept that bacteria play a role in non-healing wounds that do not have obvious signs and symptoms of infection, when in reality it better describes the presence of biofilm.

Macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fats that are essential in large amounts to promote wound healing.

Micronutrients: vitamins and trace minerals that are essential in small amounts to promote wound healing.

Microclimate: temperature and moisture interface between the skin or wound and a surface or covering.

Moisture-associated skin damage (MASD): inflammation and erosion of the skin caused by prolonged exposure to various sources of moisture and its contents, including urine, stool, perspiration, wound exudate, mucus, or saliva.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, Kestrel Health Information, Inc., its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.

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