Pressure Ulcers

Cheryl Carver's picture

By Cheryl Carver, LPN, WCC, CWCA, FACCWS, DAPWCA, CLTC

A long-term care facility is paid thousands of dollars monthly to take care of our loved ones. This should assure us to feel a healthy sense of entitlement to quality of care. So why were there more than 2.5 million pressure ulcers reported by AHRQ in 2013? The cost of treating a single full-thickness pressure ulcer can now be estimated as high as $20,900 to $151,700. Pressure ulcers are not only exceedingly costly to treat, but prevention is by far cheaper. Yet, the economic impact is poorly recognized by many in the health service, as is the ability to make massive changes for a small investment.

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Lindsay Andronaco's picture

By Lindsay D. Andronaco RN, BSN, CWCN, WOC, DAPWCA, FAACWS

Is your facility taking hospital-acquired pressure ulcers, or HAPUs, seriously? This has become a hot button issue for CMS over the last five years. I must say that I hear constant complaints about staffing issues and that is why the patient ended up with a HAPU. I can see how this may be one piece of the puzzle, but overall there are many other factors to why one gets a HAPU. From my experience as a wound care specialist and consultant, I feel that the reasoning for HAPUs is multifaceted.

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Michel Hermans's picture

By Michel H.E. Hermans, MD

In the first part of this series on the challenges of conducting clinical trials in wound care, I discussed factors that include patient populations and lesion prevalence. Additional criteria and conditions of the clinical trial will be further examined in this blog.

Paula Erwin-Toth's picture

By Paula Erwin-Toth MSN, RN, CWOCN, CNS, FAAN

Health care professionals recognize there seem to be 'seasons' for certain diseases and conditions. Spring and fall see a rise in flare ups of gastrointestinal disorders, such as inflammatory bowel diseases and seasonal allergies. Summer months bring an increase in traumatic events such as drownings, gunshot wounds and automobile accidents. Development of pressure ulcers does not follow a seasonal pattern—they occur at a higher than acceptable frequency throughout the year.

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Michel Hermans's picture

By Michel H.E. Hermans, MD

To do a Randomized Controlled Trial within a reasonable time frame, the disease to be studied should be common and the patient population large and accessible. In addition, preferably the effect of the treatment should be fast and specific.

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Aletha Tippett MD's picture

By Aletha Tippett MD

Welcome, Colton Mason, to the WoundSource blog forum. I enjoyed your opening blog on cost versus price and love your Healthcare Caffeine image. You are so correct, looking at overall cost is what is important, not necessarily the price of a product. And it reminds me how we need to look at the whole picture to determine the correct approach for controlling cost

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Cheryl Carver's picture

By Cheryl Carver, LPN, WCC, CWCA, FACCWS, DAPWCA, CLTC

If you could trade places with one person for one day, who would it be? Your first thought may be an Olympian, celebrity, or even a superhero. Who wouldn't want to be awarded a gold medal, walk the red carpet, or wear a cape to soar above the big city? One thing remains certain, not one of us would choose to be one of our wound care patients. There is definitely nothing appealing about having a chronic wound.

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Laurie Swezey's picture

By Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

Pressure ulcer risk assessment is crucial to the prevention of pressure ulcers. There are many factors which put certain patients at higher risk of developing these painful injuries that increase health care costs and lead to prolonged hospitalization, and sometimes death.

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Karen Zulkowski's picture

by Karen Zulkowski DNS, RN, CWS

There are several issues in pressure ulcer definitions. For example, exactly what is the definition for eschar? What is an unavoidable pressure ulcer? How can you decide it really was unavoidable?

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Lindsay Andronaco's picture

By Lindsay D. Andronaco RN, BSN, CWCN, WOC, DAPWCA, FAACWS

Cultural sensitivity and awareness is something that as healthcare providers, we say we practice – but do we always practice what we preach?

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