Terms to Know: Complex Wound Management

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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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DNA sequencing: DNA sequencing determines the order of the four nucleic acids that make up DNA molecules. This process can be used to determine the microbial makeup of biofilms in chronic and complex wounds, how they are produced, and how they may promote infection. This information can be used to determine a more effective treatment plan for the patient.

Duhring’s disease: Duhring’s disease, also known as dermatitis herpetiformis (DH), is a chronic skin condition caused by gluten sensitivity. It frequently appears on the forearms near elbows, on knees, on buttocks, and along the hairline. It manifests as itchy bumps and blisters.

Gangrene: Gangrene, or necrosis, is the death of tissue in the body. It may appear in complex wounds secondary to an infection or the loss of blood supply to the area. Debridement of the dead tissue is frequently necessary, although severe cases of gangrene can lead to amputation or death.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy: The use of 100% oxygen at pressures greater than atmospheric pressure. It can be used to treat complex wounds. The patient breathes the oxygen while the pressure of the treatment chamber is increased to greater than 1 atmosphere absolute.

Moisture-associated skin damage (MASD): Moisture-associated skin damage may be experienced in complex wounds. It is caused by prolonged exposure to moisture, such as wound exudate, urine, stool, or perspiration.

Mycobacterial cervical lymphadenitis: Mycobacterial cervical lymphadenitis, also called scrofula, is a condition impacting the cervical lymph nodes. It is generally associated with the tuberculosis-causing mycobacterium (Mycobacterium tuberculosis), although it may also occur when nontuberculous mycobacteria are present. This condition is common in immunocompromised patients with active tuberculosis and myelodysplastic syndrome.

Negative pressure wound therapy: The use of vacuum-assisted wound closure dressing systems that continuously or intermittently apply subatmospheric pressure to the surface of the wound. It can be used on many types of advanced wounds or chronic wounds.

Polypharmacy: A risk factor in developing complex wounds. Polypharmacy is the use of multiple medications, and it is common in the older population or other individuals with multimorbidities.

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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