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Surgical Site Management

Surgical site management in the post-operative time frame is paramount in preventing infection and wound dehiscence. It is essential to use practical knowledge in good wound cleansing and skin care and in providing moisture balance in surgical site wound care management.

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bioburden management

Surgical site infections (SSIs) are a risk for the more than 10 million patients who undergo inpatient surgical procedures every year in the United States. Between 300,000 and 500,000 Americans develop SSIs annually. SSIs are defined as infections related to an operative procedure that occur at or near the surgical incision within 30 days of the procedure, or within 90 days if prosthetic material is implanted.

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Aseptic: Aseptic surgical procedures are those that aim at eliminating the risk of transmission of all harmful microorganisms. Aseptic practices can prevent the cross-contamination of pathogens.

Bioburden: The number of microorganisms within a wound is referred to as bioburden. Bioburden management is crucial in post-operative care to prevent infection.

Cellular/tissue-based products: These are products, commonly derived from cadavers or other human and other animal cells, that can aid in closing dehisced surgical wounds by providing a substitute for the skin to act as a barrier while healing.

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Preventing Cross-Contamination

Surgical site infections (SSIs) are wound infections that occur after invasive surgical procedures. Depending on the location of the wound and the level of post-operative care that the patient receives, the risk of developing an SSI can be as high as 20%,1 although across all patients undergoing inpatient procedures in the United States, the rate of SSI occurrence is between 2% and 4%.2

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Preventing Post-Operative Complications

Surgical complications impact many patients every year, and when post-operative complications occur, they can disrupt the normal healing cycle and introduce new challenges in patient care. It is estimated that between 3% and 27% of surgical patients have unforeseen complications related to their surgical event.1

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By the WoundSource Editors

Collateral circulation: A collateral blood vessel circuit that may be adapted or remodeled to minimize the use of occluded arteries. Collateralization may offset some of the physiological signs of peripheral artery disease, such as maintaining a normal capillary refill.

Critical limb ischemia: A severe form of peripheral arterial disease in which a severe blockage of the arteries of the lower extremities reduces blood flow. It is a chronic condition that is often characterized by wounds of the lower extremity.

Dependent rubor: A light red to dusky-red coloration that is visible when the leg is in a dependent position (such as hanging off the edge of a table) but not when it is elevated above the heart. The presence of dependent rubor is often an indicator of underlying peripheral arterial disease. When the leg is raised above the level of the heart, its color will normalize.

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By the WoundSource Editors

The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Whether you are a provider or a frontline health care professional, we are experiencing a worldwide increase in “unavoidable” medical device–related pressure injuries (MDRPIs) during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Health care workers are challenged with a higher risk of pressure injury development secondary to prolonged wear time of the N95 mask, face shield, and goggle personal protective equipment (PPE). The intensity of one or more factors of pressure, moisture, shear, and friction influence pressure injury risk.

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By the WoundSource Editors

The current COVID-19 pandemic has changed various aspects of care across the health care continuum. Health care professionals have been forced to develop different strategies for engagement for those patients at higher risk for infection, those who are quarantined, and those who have tested positive for COVID-19. We know that telemedicine cannot replace an in-person visit to a provider, but during this time of crisis it serves as an advanced approach in wound care.

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By the WoundSource Editors

Wound care professionals are feeling the challenges of caring for patients with wounds during the COVID-19 pandemic. Coming together during this time is paramount for developing the best strategy for delivering quality of care across the continuum. Providers should implement wound management protocols for their specific health care setting to be most efficient.

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By the WoundSource Editors

Health care providers are currently faced with an all-time high of challenges and strain related to the crisis of COVID-19. They are confronted with short staffing, limited personal protective equipment supplies, delegated duties outside their role, and the worry of being infected with the virus. There are health care workers who are not living at home because of the high risk of infecting their family members and others who are quarantining themselves within their homes away from their families. As health care workers focus on working hard on the frontlines for their patients, they must also remember to take care of themselves. Learning and applying self-care practices are just as important to ensure that health care workers remain safe and healthy to optimize delivery of care for their patients.