Important Terms to Know: Overcoming Wound Care Obstacles Protection Status

Avoidable pressure injury: The development of a new pressure injury or the worsening of an existing one that results from a failure of the facility or caregivers to adequately identify, prevent, or manage the patient using acceptable care standards.

Clean technique: Meticulous hand washing or sanitizing is used while preparing a clean field. The equipment, including gloves, instruments, and dressings, can be from multiuse or bulk packaging and not sterile for each use or application. The term non-sterile does not mean that it was not ever sterile, but rather that the package is multiuse and with appropriate technique can be used.

Cross-contamination: The process of inadvertently transferring microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites, from one patient to another. Cross-contamination of post-operative wounds is a high risk for surgical patients.

Devitalized tissue: Dead tissue that can no longer perform its function. It may include necrotic tissues, foreign debris, and bacteria, which are removed from the wound bed.

Digital wound measuring tool: Category of tools including devices that may provide two- or three-dimensional assessment (length, width, depth, surface area) of a wound with electronic medical record software integration and may not require physical contact.

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Evidence-based clinical practice: Making decisions about patient care based on literature evidence regarding a particular topic. This practice combines clinical expertise, patient preferences, and the best evidence from high-quality research.

Palliative wound care: Care focused on relieving suffering and improving the patient’s quality of life when their wound(s) no longer respond to or the patients can no longer tolerate curative treatment. Palliative care focuses on symptom management, addressing the problems of infection, pain, wound odor, exudate, malnutrition, and decreased self-confidence in end-of-life care.

Pressure injury, stages 3 and 4: Pressure injuries involving full-thickness skin loss potentially extending into the subcutaneous tissue layer. The wound often has granulation tissue and epibole (rolled wounds edged) and may have slough and/or eschar. Stage 4 pressure injuries are ulcers with full-thickness skin and tissue loss, exposing underlying fascia, muscle, tendon, ligament, cartilage, or bone. Wounds frequently manifest with tunneling and/or undermining. If full-thickness skin and/or tissue loss is obscured by slough or eschar, the ulcer is defined as an unstageable pressure injury.

Risk factor: A patient-related quality that creates higher susceptibility for a given condition, such as diabetes, creating an increased chance for a patient to develop a surgical site infection. Risk factors may be modifiable or non-modifiable.

Sterile technique: Meticulous hand washing or sanitizing is used to prepare or maintain a sterile field. The procedure should emphasize that all equipment, including gloves, instruments, and dressing, is and remains sterile.


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

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