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Wound Assessment

By Martin Vera, LVN, CWS

Throughout my career I have been lucky enough to be part of several nursing branches: home health, long-term care, acute care, long-term acute care hospital, hospice, and even a tuberculosis hospital; wounds have no limitations on where they will appear. As a passionate clinician, teaching, coaching, and mentoring have become a huge part of what I do, as is true for most clinicians. We are teachers, coaches, and mentors driven by passion and wanting to help and put in our “two clinical cents” or “stamp” on the industry.

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Biopsy of Atypical Wound

By Martin Vera, LVN, CWS

Part 2 in a series discussing the etiology, assessment and management of atypical wounds. Read Part 1 here.

As our journey through the exciting and uncharted, choppy waters of atypical wounds comes to a close, I discuss a few more wounds. The purpose and goal of this blog are to create awareness of other wounds that exist and instill the curiosity in my fellow clinicians to get our research done.

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sickle cell anemia testing - atypical wound etiology assessment

By Martin D. Vera LVN, CWS

As devoted clinicians to the field of wound management we take a responsibility to educate ourselves and others about wound etiologies and characteristics, as well as management of barriers to achieve positive outcomes. We spend a great deal of our careers learning about the most common offenders, such as pressure injuries, diabetic foot ulcers, venous stasis ulcers, arterial wounds, amputations, and traumatic wounds, to name a few. However, as our careers unfold we are faced with extra challenges, and atypical wounds are among them.

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chronic wounds

By Martin D. Vera LVN, CWS

What is a chronic wound? What changes must happen within a wound for clinicians to classify it as "chronic"? Is there a time frame for healing chronic wounds? And what should we clinicians do to prevent and/or reverse chronic wounds? These are all great questions that keep us on our toes, from the dedicated seasoned clinician to the clinicians new to our field. In this blog I will define what a chronic wound is, what it consists of, and whether there is a way to convert or reverse a wound.

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diabetic foot ulcer

By Martin D. Vera LVN, CWS

In this last of our three-part series on lower extremity wounds, we will focus our attention on diabetic foot/neuropathic ulcers. Research indicates that the United States national average for diabetes mellitus (DM) accounts for a little over 8% of the nation, or roughly over 18 million Americans afflicted with this disease—what the industry refers to "the silent killer" for the amount of damage it causes. DM has the capacity to affect vision and circulation, as well as increase the incidence of stroke and renal disease, just to name a few associated problems. Over 20% of individuals with diabetes will develop ulcerations, with a recurrence rate of over 50% for diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) alone. Overall, lower extremity wounds have recurrence rate of 40-90%. We have our work cut out for us. So, let's put our deuces up, recognize early intervention, and try our best to manage and prevent complications associated with DM.

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Arterial Wounds

By Martin D. Vera LVN, CWS

As we move forward in our continuation of lower extremity wounds, we will now turn our attention to arterial wounds. In my previous post, we discussed challenges with venous leg ulcers. Lower extremity wounds continue to challenge clinicians on a daily basis. We often refer to them as "the big three" – or how I like to refer to them, "the pesky triplets." It doesn't matter what we call them, we know we are referring to venous leg ulcers, arterial ulcers, and diabetic foot ulcers. In no way shape or manner will we disregard the many other types of lower extremity wounds we may encounter as wound clinicians, but these three are the most common and often present with treatment challenges.

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venous assessment

By Martin D. Vera, LVN, CWS

Wound clinicians across the nation (and the world) are commonly faced with the difficult task of managing lower extremity wounds. Lower extremity wounds come in many different forms. We are not faced with a generic type, but several—in fact, we never know what we'll be presented with day-to-day.

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barriers to wound healing

By Martin D. Vera, LVN, CWS

We hear this all too often, but it is so true: it takes a village to heal a wound. A village that's on the same page, with a thorough understanding of gaining progress and obtaining positive outcomes for the patient and removing the barriers to wound healing.

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wound healing

By Martin D. Vera, LVN, CWS

It is no surprise to coworkers, colleagues and even my patients that I am a huge advocate for education and of course, the building of a strong foundation. My personal experience has been that after I had built that strong foundation—as in, understanding the skin and cells involved in each layer, wound bed preparation framework and the phases of wound healing with the key cells involved in each phase—I became more efficient, provided better services and improved positive outcomes for my patients. And once the types of wounds came along, I felt prepared and ahead of the game to accept the challenges and complexities of each wound type, and educated myself to know the differences. As a clinician driven by a passion for healing patients, I can’t help but look for ways for me to improve and further educate myself, as well as bring others on board to join me and the thousands of clinicians out there gathered to fight for a good cause.

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anatomy of the skin, the body's largest organ

By Martin D. Vera, LVN, CWS

On our last encounter we discussed wound bed preparation and the TIME framework. What I wish to accomplish with this post is to make it easier to understand the skin, the changes it undergoes as we age, and pave the way for the phases of wound healing—all of which are essential in becoming a better clinician.

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