Laurie Swezey's blog

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By Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

Diabetic foot ulceration can lead to significant morbidity and mortality and is probably one of the most-feared complications of diabetes. Loss of limb (amputation) is a frequent outcome of diabetic foot ulceration.

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By Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

We've all experienced difficulty in getting dressings to stay on for as long as we need them to, especially when there are many commercial dressings that could (and should) remain in place for several days before they require changing.

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By Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

Skin grafting of surgical wounds is performed for wounds that are difficult to close using traditional closure methods, such as staples or sutures. They may also be used for wounds that are expected to result in severe scarring, which may have psychological or physical repercussions for the patient. Skin grafting serves three main purposes: it covers the wound, minimizes scarring and speeds healing.

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By Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

Arterial ulcers can cause much pain for patients and consternation for the wound care professionals tasked with managing them. Arterial ulcers can be a catch-22 in that many patients with arterial ulcers present with edema, but due to the nature of their problem cannot be safely compressed.

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By Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

Pressure mapping has traditionally been used by physiotherapists, occupational therapists, chiropractors, orthotists and other health professionals to determine where pressure might become an issue for a patient and how to redistribute skin-damaging pressure for the prevention of pressure ulcers.

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By Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

Compression therapy is the “gold standard” for the treatment of venous ulcers. However, compression therapy is not a one-size-fits-all treatment and the clinician must decide on the right type of compression therapy for the individual client in order to prevent complications from occurring, such as ischemia and necrosis.

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wound tunneling, undermining

By Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

Tunneling wounds can be difficult to heal and often take several weeks to months to close. The following will discuss tunneling wounds and how negative pressure wound therapy can be used to heal them.

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By Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

According to the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP, 2007), a support surface is “a specialized device for pressure redistribution designed for management of tissue loads, micro-climate, and/or other therapeutic functions (i.e. any mattresses, integrated bed system, mattress replacement, overlay, or seat cushion, or seat cushion overlay).” Because there is no method available to provide weightlessness for our patients, the next best thing we can do to prevent skin breakdown is to reduce pressure on bony prominences as much as humanly possible.

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By Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

There are more than 3,000 types of wound dressings available on the market today, and more are being launched every day. Although there are a number of protocols and algorithms available to help with the selection of wound dressings,1,2 and individual facilities are likely to have their own dressings of choice, the decision can still seem overwhelming. Even the most seasoned wound care practitioner can find it difficult to assess the advantages and disadvantages of each dressing available and to make the appropriate choice for a particular patient. Rather than consider each dressing in isolation, a useful technique can be to mentally place each type of dressing on a continuum of occlusion.3

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By Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

The rate of wound closure is affected by systemic and local factors, as well as a number of the wound’s own inherent characteristics. It is important to understand these factors so that they can be managed optimally as part of an overall strategy to help achieve wound closure.

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