by Holly Hovan MSN, APRN-ACNS-BC, CWOCN-AP
As wound care clinicians, one of the first steps we take after meeting our patient and assessing their wound is identifying our treatment goals. Much like managing a complex medical problem, we need to identify if our goals of care are curative or palliative. This is important with all wounds, not just those present at end of life. There are many patients with vascular disease, diabetes, or other co-morbidities that may want to take a palliative approach versus aggressive debridement or amputation. You may have heard the term, “keeping it dry and stable.” This can work at times, but as with any wound, we need to keep an eye out for signs of an active infection and determine if/when we need to further intervene. Wounds can and do resolve with a palliative approach, but it is very important to understand, and explain to our patients, the difference.