Debridement

Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine's picture

By Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine Journal Review Club

The treatment of wounds has advanced significantly over the years and has involved a variety of therapy options, but the percentage of wounds that heal after 12 weeks remains at a mere 40%. One idea to improve wound healing is to improve diagnostic imaging of wounds, similar to the technological advances seen in many other specialties. Wound healing is costly, especially given that many wounds are hard to heal or there is difficulty in identifying the best course of treatment for the wound. If the current wound healing treatments show minimal improvement in four weeks and there are still thousands of bacteria-forming units on the wound, the clinician should re-evaluate the therapies being utilized and consider a change in treatment.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

Chronic and non-healing wounds are those that do not progress through the healing process in a timely or predicted manner. They are a global problem and are becoming harder to treat. Medicare estimates that over 8 million Americans have chronic wounds that cost the national health care system between $18.1 and $96.8 billion dollars annually.

WoundSource Editors's picture

The use of wet-to-dry dressings has been the standard treatment for many wounds for decades. However, this technique is frowned on because it has various disadvantages. In this process, a saline-moistened dressing is applied to the wound bed, left to dry, and removed, generally within four to six hours.

Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine's picture

By Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine Journal Review Club

Chronic wounds require an increased amount of oxygen to help with cellular function and growth. They often manifest with biofilm, slough, and necrotic tissue, all of which deprive cells of the oxygen they need to perform vital functions. Various forms of debridement are commonly employed to rid wounds of pathological tissues that negatively affect cellular communication and growth. Sharp surgical debridement is most frequently performed by physicians. Continuous diffusion of oxygen (CDO) involves the use of humidified, purified air at 3mL/hour in conjunction with moist wound therapy (MWT) dressing. A previous paper by Niederauer et al. published in 2018 in the Journal of Wound Care, described using CDO for healing DFUs. This study showed that CDO improved the healing rate of DFUs in terms of time, chronicity, and weight-bearing ability when compared to a placebo. Additionally, the previous paper described wound size, chronicity, and adverse events.

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WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

Wound debridement is a critical strategy in treating hard-to-heal wounds. It is a process that expedites healing by removing necrotic tissue, non-viable tissue, and foreign material. It can also be used to manage biofilm to prevent infection. Debriding a wound exposes the healthy underlying tissue to promote healing. There are several methods of debridement. Determining the best option will depend on the health care setting as well as the characteristics of the wound being treated.

WoundSource Editors's picture

In a recent survey, we asked our WoundSource Editorial Advisory Board members what outdated wound care practices they continue to see in the field. Depending on what health care setting clinicians work in, there are specific guidelines, policies, and procedures that may impact standard of care. Our board members come from a variety of backgrounds, so their answers varied based on their areas of expertise, but there were a few practices that they could all agree should be left in the past. Do you still use any of these?

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Ron Sherman's picture

By Ronald A. Sherman, MD

Challenges are nothing new for those of us who work in health care. Every day, we triumph over difficult situations. Yet, the current coronavirus outbreak has complicated even the simplest of procedures and has brought us additional challenges.

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WoundSource Editors's picture
Silver Nitrate Sticks

By the WoundSource Editors

Silver nitrate is a natural, inorganic chemical compound with antimicrobial properties that has been used in medical applications since the 13th century. It is used as a cauterizing agent and is available as a solution or an applicator stick. The applicator sticks, known as silver nitrate sticks or caustic pencils, contain silver nitrate and potassium nitrate. There are certain brands of silver nitrate sticks that can be bent or shaped to increase ease of access within a target area. The silver nitrate stick is activated by contact with moisture. When applied to wounds, silver nitrate sticks deliver free silver ions to the tissue that form an eschar as they bind to tissue and obstruct vessels.

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Achieving Closure

By the WoundSource Editors

Wound healing is a highly complex chain of events that allows the skin to repair and regenerate to provide protective functions, such as temperature modulation, and moisture regulation, as well as sensation reception and transmission.

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Patient Considerations

By the WoundSource Editors

Wound debridement is often necessary to address the underlying causes of chronic wounds, remove non-viable tissue, manage biofilm, and ultimately promote and expedite the healing process. There are multiple methods of debridement, including surgical/sharp, autolytic, mechanical, biological, enzymatic, ultrasonic, hydrosurgical, or synergistic (combination of debridement methods). Selecting the most appropriate methods of debridement is crucial in treating chronic and acute wounds successfully and optimizing the healing environment.

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