Debridement

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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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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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Debridement

By the WoundSource Editors

Wound debridement is a crucial strategy for addressing some of the underlying causes of wound chronicity. The wound healing process can be impacted by chronic disease, vascular insufficiency, diabetes, neurological defects, nutritional deficiency, advanced age, and local factors such as pressure, infection, and edema. Debridement can expedite healing when used to remove necrotic tissue, other non-viable tissue, and foreign material. It can also be a tool to manage biofilm. Debridement exposes the viable underlying tissue, which promotes healing. There are several methods of debridement; determining the best option depends on the health care setting as well as the characteristics of the wound being treated.

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TIMERS

By the WoundSource Editors

Wound bed preparation is a well-established concept, and for many years the TIME framework – consisting of addressing Tissue Management, Inflammation and Infection, Moisture Balance, and Edge or Epithelial Advancement – was the standard tool used by clinicians to manage patients’ wounds throughout the wound care cycle.

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By the WoundSource Editors

Conservative sharp debridement: Conservative sharp debridement is done outside the operating room, and although it removes necrotic tissue and debris, it is not as aggressive a procedure as surgical sharp debridement.

Eschar: Eschar is dead tissue and is found only in full- thickness wounds. It may be tan, brown, or black.

Fibroblasts: Fibroblasts have several roles in wound healing, including breaking down fibrin clots, creating new extracellular matrix and collagen structures, and contracting the wound.

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Weird Wounds

By Becky Naughton, RN, MSN, FNP-C, WCC

When I was in my APRN program, a phrase that I heard from an instructor has stuck with me throughout my practice: "When it comes to diagnosing, if you hear hooves, think horses, not zebras." Essentially, think of the obvious or likely reason first before jumping to a more obscure diagnosis. In the large majority of cases, the more common ailment is likely the cause. But what happens if the symptoms just don't quite add up?

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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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Wound Care Resolutions

By Emily Greenstein, APRN, CNP, CWON, FACCWS

The New Year is finally here, the beginning of a new decade. And we all know that with the calendar change comes the urge to get rid of any and all bad habits. Time to start over, wipe the slate clean, and transform into something amazing. Except, in reality it never seems to happen that way. We may start out well and then fall off the wagon and back into old habits.