Risk Assessment

Cheryl Carver's picture
Worldwide Pressure Ulcer/Injury Prevention & Awareness Day

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

Worldwide Pressure Ulcer/Injury Prevention & Awareness Day is November 21st. This day is considered pretty much a holiday at my home. I have Stop Pressure Ulcer tee shirts, and I order a cake or STOP sign cookies every year from the bakery in memory of my mother. To some it might sound crazy, but my life was strongly impacted forever in 1996 after my mother passed away in my arms at only 47 years old because of complications of diabetes and what was called at that time "multiple decubitus." The image and smell will never leave my mind. It changed my life forever as a daughter, a caregiver, and later as a wound nurse. I needed more answers to heal my heart. How could my mother acquire such horrible wounds while at the hospital to get better? My mind was twirling nonstop with the 5Ws. Who, what, when, where, why? So, then it began. I wanted to learn everything I could. This ended up being sort of my therapy, which transitioned into my passion and purpose.

Heidi Cross's picture
End of Life Skin

By Heidi Cross, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, CWON

Ms. EB, a frail 82-year-old woman admitted to a long-term care facility, had a complex medical history that included diabetes, extensive heart disease, ischemic strokes with left-sided weakness and dysphagia, dementia, kidney disease, anemia, chronic Clostridium difficile infection, and obesity. Her condition was guarded at best on admission, and she had a feeding tube for nutrition secondary to dysphagia. Despite these challenges, she survived two years at the facility.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture
Management of Surgical Wounds

By the WoundSource Editors

Wounds resulting from surgical procedures have many commonalities with wounds of other etiologies. However, there are a few notable differences in their classification, as well as in the recommended care practices that promote the healing of these wounds. In understanding these differences, it is important to understand the classification of surgical wounds.

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Surgical Wound Healing

By the WoundSource Editors

The number of surgical procedures performed in the United States has been increasing annually by as much as 300% over a 10-year period. Although technological advances in surgical procedures have allowed some procedures to be performed using minimally invasive techniques, many operations still require incisions, which require special care to prevent dehiscence and surgical site infections (SSIs). SSIs occur in 2% to 4% of all patients undergoing surgical procedures, and they are among the most expensive inpatient harms, adding approximately $30,000 to the total hospital cost per infection.

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WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture
Preventing Surgical Site Infections

By the WoundSource Editors

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define a surgical site infection (SSI) as "an infection that occurs after surgery in the part of the body where the surgery took place." The CDC go on to say the infection can be superficial involving just the skin or more serious infections can occur that involve deeper structures, such as tissue under the skin, organs, or implanted devices or materials. The CDC offer tools and guidelines to prevent SSIs and provide education to the public. Public education includes tips and advice on how to prevent patient surgical sites from becoming infected. Although such steps may not always prevent a surgical wound from becoming infected, it is always important to involve the patient in postoperative care.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture
Surgical Wound Infection Assessment

By the WoundSource Editors

With an associated cost of $3.5 billion to $10 billion spent annually on surgical site infections (SSIs) and complications in the United States, it is important to know how to assess for surgical wound complications. There is a difference between the normal cascade response and a brewing infection. Symptoms of infection are often the first clue that there is more occurring in the wound than meets the eye.

Janet Wolfson's picture
Frequently Asked Questions

By Janet Wolfson, PT, CLWT, CWS, CLT-LANA

Reflecting back on "In the Trenches With Lymphedema," WoundSource's June Practice Accelerator webinar, many people sent in questions. I have addressed some regarding compression use here.

WoundSource Editors's picture
Risk Assessment Standardization

By the WoundSource Editors

The prevalence of pressure injuries among certain high-risk patient populations has made pressure injury risk assessment a standard of care. When utilized on a regular basis, standardized assessment tools, along with consistent documentation, increase accuracy of pressure injury risk assessment, subsequently improving patient outcomes. Conversely, inconsistent and non-standardized assessment and poor documentation can contribute to negative patient outcomes, denial of reimbursement, and possibly wound-related litigation.

Susan Cleveland's picture
Skin Assessment Interview

By Susan M. Cleveland, BSN, RN, WCC, CDP, NADONA Board Secretary

As a Director of Nursing, your assessment skills must be tiptop. How are the skills of the staff you are entrusting with the care of our older residents in long-term care? Have you given the staff the tools and time required to accomplish comprehensive and compassionate assessments?

Margaret Heale's picture
Continence Assessment

By Margaret Heale, RN, MSc, CWOCN

Not very long ago, when working in an in-patient rehab center, I was shocked to discover patients calling the adult incontinence garments "hospital underwear." We were making good inroads into reducing the use of these products with the hope that if we used less it would be possible to acquire higher-quality products that would function optimally for patients who really needed them. It was of concern that some facilities had become diaper-free because many of our patients benefited from briefs, particularly as a "just in case security blanket" and we felt it was unrealistic for our patient population to be brief-free.