Risk Assessment

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

By the WoundSource Editors

The most common type of chronic lower extremity wound is the venous ulcer, affecting 1% to 3% of the U.S. population. Chronic venous ulcers significantly impact quality of life and are a financial burden for both the patient and the health care system. In the United States, 10% to 35% of adults have chronic venous insufficiency, and 4% of adults 65 years old or older have venous ulcers. Identifying signs of venous disease early on while implementing surgical intervention, if warranted, can increase healing outcomes and decrease the recurrence of venous ulcers. Treatment of venous ulcers can include exercise, leg elevation, dressings, advanced wound care such as cellular and tissue-based products, compression therapy, medications, venous ablation, and surgical intervention.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

By the WoundSource Editors

Venous ulcers are known to be complex and costly. There is an array of evidence-based treatment options available to help formulate a comprehensive treatment plan toward wound closure. Health care professionals should utilize treatment options while encompassing a holistic approach to venous ulcer management. Involving the patient and/or caregiver in developing a treatment plan will increase the chances of successful wound healing outcomes. Wound closure is the primary goal of a treatment plan; however, preventing recurrence and infection should be considered just as important.

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Ivy Razmus's picture
Neonatal Pressure Injury Prevention

By Ivy Razmus, RN, PhD, CWOCN

There remain many unanswered questions regarding pressure injury and prevention practices among neonatal patients. Guidelines for pressure injury prevention were initiated in 1992 by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Pressure injury prevention practices are based on these guidelines, which recently expanded to include pediatric patients.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture
Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs

By the WoundSource Editors

Antimicrobial resistance is one of the greatest health threats of the 21st century. The current number of deaths attributed to drug-resistant infections is 700,000, yet this figure is expected to grow more than 10-fold by 2050. Although the rapid administration of antibiotics to treat infections often reduces morbidity and saves the lives of many patients each year, it has also been shown that up to 40% of all antibiotics prescribed are either unnecessary or inappropriate, which contributes to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.

Margaret Heale's picture
Oral Care

By Margaret Heale, RN, MSc, CWOCN

Oral health is more than just important. As a child in a family supported by the state, we could afford hot water for a bath only once a week, but I cleaned my teeth twice a day and had regular dental visits. At school, we were taught to brush our teeth, and the twice a day routine was reinforced. I remember as a 16 year old showing my junior charges the scuzzy stuff at the gum margin and telling them it was called plaque. At nursing school, I once again was taught how to brush teeth, and we practiced on each other. Oral hygiene may seem irrelevant to wound care, but there is no doubt that the mouth can release bacteria into the bloodstream and be the root cause of deep bone infections after orthopedic surgery, pneumonia in intensive care unit (ICU), and subacute bacterial endocarditis.

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Fistulas

By the WoundSource Editors

Fistulas are abnormal connections or passageways between two organs or vessels that do not usually connect. Although they typically develop as a result of an injury or surgery, they can also be caused by infection or inflammation. The World Health Organization estimates that there are between 50,000 and 100,000 new cases of obstetric fistula annually, and the number of all types of fistulas is substantially higher.

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Edema

By the WoundSource Editors

Edema is the abnormalaccumulation of excess fluid within tissue. The swelling associated with edema can be localized to a small area following an acute injury, it can affect an entire limb or a specific organ, or it can be generalized throughout the entire body. Edema is not a disease, but rather a symptom that can indicate general health status, side effects of medications, or serious underlying medical conditions.

Holly Hovan's picture
Pressure Injury Prevention

By Holly M. Hovan MSN, RN-BC, APRN.ACNS-BC, CWOCN-AP

Often when we hear the words "pressure injury," our brains are trained to think about staging the wound, considering treatment options, and obtaining a provider's order for care. Ideally, when we hear the words "pressure injury," we should think prevention! As Benjamin Franklin once said, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." This is a very true statement and speaks volumes to our goals of care and education format when developing pressure injury prevention curriculum for our facilities.

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Pilonidal Cyst

By the WoundSource Editors

A pilonidal cyst is a pimple-like cyst typically located in the sacrococcygeal region of the body, usually near the top of the intergluteal cleft (also referred to as the natal cleft). Rarely, pilonidal cysts may also manifest between digits. This common condition is seen most frequently in men who are between 16 and 24 years old. The name "pilonidal”" is derived from Latin and literally means "nest of hair" because this condition frequently involves a hair follicle. The pit of the pilonidal cyst contains hair and skin debris that produce a foreign body reaction, resulting in localized inflammation and pain.

Diane Krasner's picture
Wound Care Lawsuits

By Diane L. Krasner, PhD, RN, FAAN

Originally a poster first conceived in 2009, "Six Sticky Wickets That Commonly Occur in Wound Care Lawsuits" is as relevant today as it was a decade ago. In my review of wound care medical malpractice cases, I see these six difficult situations ("sticky wickets") occurring all too often. Strategies for avoiding the Six Sticky Wickets have been updated and are discussed here.