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by the WoundSource Editors

Cellular and/or tissue-based products: Formally referred to as skin substitutes, these are engineered products, both cellular and acellular, intended to facilitate biological repair or regeneration of wound tissue by providing signaling, structural, or cellular elements.

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Diabetic Foot Ulcers

By the WoundSource Editors

The definition of a diabetic wound of the lower extremity in its simplest form could be described as an open area on the lower extremity limb of anyone with diabetes. Some wound specialists would also state that pre-diabetes is still diabetes in a wound care world, so if someone with pre-diabetes develops a wound you should still treat it as if the patient had diabetes.

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Risk Factors for Diabetic Foot Ulcers

By the WoundSource Editors

Diabetes is one of the most common and costly conditions encountered in the U.S. health care system. The condition impacts over 23 million people annually, for a total cost of $245 billion per year. Although surgical infections remain the leading cause of non-healing wounds, diabetic infections follow closely behind, and they impose a substantial financial burden on the U.S. health care system. Treatment of diabetic ulcers in the United States contributes an additional $9 to $13 billion to the direct annual costs associated with diabetes.

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Classification Systems for Diabetic Foot Ulcers

By the WoundSource Editors

In patients with diabetes, the lifetime risk of diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) is approximately 25%, and these wounds are frequently a source of pain and discomfort. Severe cases can even result in amputation of a portion of or the entire affected extremity. Proper classification of DFUs is essential for selecting the appropriate treatment course and coordinating care for the patient. Several systems are frequently used in classifying DFUs, although there is no universally agreed-on standard.

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Diabetic Foot Ulcer Interventions

By the WoundSource Editors

For people with diabetes who develop a wound, the statistics are high. The data are as overwhelming as the cost of care, and the outcome if these wound do not heal is often deadly. The faster we can intervene and get closure in these limbs, the better the patient outcomes and chance for a longer, fulfilled life. How do we go from ulceration to closure, and what tools do we need in our arsenal?

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Factors Contributing to Complex Wounds

By the WoundSource Editors

A vast percentage of wounds become chronically stalled because of mixed etiology and other underlying comorbid medical conditions. This means the wound is multifactorial, and using a singular approach won’t be enough. Lower extremity wounds, for example, can have diabetes, venous and arterial issues, and pressure all as factors playing into the same wound.

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Wound Infection

By the WoundSource Editors

Although complex wounds typically present with clinical challenges in treatment, there are certain types of wounds that clinicians are used to facing: pressure wounds , arterial wounds, venous wounds, diabetic wounds, moisture-related wounds, end-of-life wounds, dehisced or complicated surgical wounds, and wounds of mixed etiology. However, the uncommon complex wounds are the ones often misdiagnosed or misidentified because of a lack of understanding or even ability to have them diagnosed properly. Often the rare or unusual skin lesions or ulcers require advanced diagnostic capabilities, such as the ability to perform a biopsy, tissue culture, radiological study, or other examination. So how do you know that what you’re treating is what you think you’re treating?

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Complex Wounds

By the WoundSource Editors

Complex wounds pose a significant challenge for many health care providers. These wounds are often multifaceted, making treatment tremendously difficult. They represent a substantial burden on the health care industry, with annual costs in North America alone estimated at $10 billion annually. They often also result in patient discomfort and pain, caregiver frustration, individual economic losses, and diminished quality of life.

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Wound Bed Assessment

By the WoundSource Editors

Wound treatment plans are frequently ineffective because of a widespread failure to identify wound etiology accurately. One study found that up to 30% of all wounds lack a differential diagnosis, and this poses a real barrier to administering effective treatments. Furthermore, recent advances in the understanding of wounds, including the use of growth factors and bioengineered tissue and the ability to grow cells in vitro, present new opportunities to provide more effective treatment. Wound bed preparation that incorporates the TIME framework (tissue management, Infection or inflammation, moisture imbalance, and edge of wound) into the A, B, C, D, E wound bed preparation care cycle can significantly increase the ability to perform the following accurately.

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Multidisciplinary Team

By the WoundSource Editors

The prevalence of non-healing wounds is a challenge and concern for all levels of health care professionals. Clinical evidence has proven that using a multidisciplinary team approach to wound care is key in providing quality of care across the continuum. Clinicians should keep the mindset of always viewing the patient as a whole. A multidisciplinary team consists of members from many different disciplines using their areas of expertise to focus on the wound care patient. Bringing the knowledge and skills together of the wound team will provide guidance to better clinical, health, and financial outcomes.

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