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Burns

Burns occur when the skin comes into contact with a heat source or caustic substance, commonly fire or flames, boiling liquid, hot objects, electrical current, or chemical agents. Different mechanisms of injury that can cause a burn include scalding, fire, chemical exposure, electrical exposure, and radiation. The extent of injuries that can occur from a burn is highly variable, and morbidity and mortality tend to increase as the surface area of the burn increases. Proper classification of burns is essential in guiding the initial management of the burn wound and achieving optimal outcomes.

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Necrotic Wounds

By the WoundSource Editors

Necrotic wounds are characterized by devitalized, or dead, tissue. Necrosis may be caused by malignancy, infection, trauma, ischemia, inflammation, or exposure to toxins. It may also be caused by improper care of an existing wound site. Devitalized tissue has no blood supply, and its presence prevents wound healing. It is necessary for necrotic tissue to be removed to allow wound healing to occur.

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Scar management

By the WoundSource Editors

After an injury or surgery, the body responds by forming scar tissue. Scar formation is a normal part of the wound healing process, but not all scars are the same. Some scars form in only the superficial epidermal layers, whereas others encompass deeper subdermal layers, involving nerves and tendons. The process of scar formation is the result of myofibroblast cells forming new collagen fibers to repair a wound.

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Ulcerative Wounds

By the WoundSource Editors

Ulcers in the lower extremities are more common in patients older than 65. Ulcerative wound types include venous, arterial, diabetic neuropathic, and pressure. To identify ulcer types, these wounds should be examined thoroughly for their distinct characteristics such as location and shape, as well as in conjunction with other patient information, to ensure an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

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Fistulas

By the WoundSource Editors

Fistulas are abnormal connections or passageways between two organs or vessels that do not usually connect. Although they typically develop as a result of an injury or surgery, they can also be caused by infection or inflammation. The World Health Organization estimates that there are between 50,000 and 100,000 new cases of obstetric fistula annually, and the number of all types of fistulas is substantially higher.

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Edema

By the WoundSource Editors

Edema is the abnormalaccumulation of excess fluid within tissue. The swelling associated with edema can be localized to a small area following an acute injury, it can affect an entire limb or a specific organ, or it can be generalized throughout the entire body. Edema is not a disease, but rather a symptom that can indicate general health status, side effects of medications, or serious underlying medical conditions.

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Pilonidal Cyst

By the WoundSource Editors

A pilonidal cyst is a pimple-like cyst typically located in the sacrococcygeal region of the body, usually near the top of the intergluteal cleft (also referred to as the natal cleft). Rarely, pilonidal cysts may also manifest between digits. This common condition is seen most frequently in men who are between 16 and 24 years old. The name "pilonidal”" is derived from Latin and literally means "nest of hair" because this condition frequently involves a hair follicle. The pit of the pilonidal cyst contains hair and skin debris that produce a foreign body reaction, resulting in localized inflammation and pain.

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Risk Assessment Standardization

By the WoundSource Editors

The prevalence of pressure injuries among certain high-risk patient populations has made pressure injury risk assessment a standard of care. When utilized on a regular basis, standardized assessment tools, along with consistent documentation, increase accuracy of pressure injury risk assessment, subsequently improving patient outcomes. Conversely, inconsistent and non-standardized assessment and poor documentation can contribute to negative patient outcomes, denial of reimbursement, and possibly wound-related litigation.

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WoundSource 2019

By Miranda J. Henry, Editorial Director of WoundSource

This updated edition of WoundSource provides a glimpse of the continuing evolution of the field of wound care. There are several additions this year that reflect the innovation and ingenuity we are seeing in wound management.

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Edema

By the WoundSource Editors

Edema is swelling that occurs when there is an excessive amount of fluids within the intracellular space, typically within subcutaneous tissues. Edema is more commonly experienced in the lower extremities and other areas that are farther from the heart. Edema may be dependent, caused by gravitational forces on the fluids that are greater than the mechanisms designed to overcome these forces. Edema may also be generalized throughout the entire body or localized, restricted to a single area.

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