Wound Assessment

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By Samantha Kuplicki, MSN, APRN-CNS, AGCNS-BC, CWCN-AP, CWS, RNFA

Should pain management interventions be put in place before debriding a venous ulcer?

Without question, yes. Any comprehensive wound treatment plan must include a thorough pain assessment, accounting for cyclical and non-cyclical pain sources. This will best guide interventions based on patient’s unique history, which can potentially include complicating factors such as complex personal pain management secondary to chronic pain, inability to tolerate specific interventions because of existing comorbid conditions, limited financial or social resources, etc. Multimodal pain management is standard of care, using the least invasive options and beginning pharmacologic therapy with the lowest necessary dosage possible.

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By the WoundSource Editors

Before the mid-1990s, venous disorders and disease were classified almost solely on clinical appearance, which failed to achieve diagnostic precision or reproducible treatment results. In response to this, the American Venous Forum developed a classification system in 1994, which was revised in 2004. This classification system has gained widespread acceptance across the clinical and medical research communities, and most published papers now use all or part of the CEAP system (defined in the next section). This system was once again updated in 2020.

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Calciphylaxis

By Becky Naughton, RN, MSN, FNP-C, WCC

Picture this: you've been seeing a patient in your wound center for the last several months to treat a slowly healing post-operative abdominal wound. The wound has been gradually responding to an assortment of treatments, including initial wound vacuum therapy after the surgery, followed by alginate and now a collagen dressing. The wound is getting smaller and has new granulation tissue at the base. You're actually a bit surprised that it's healing so nicely because the patient has multiple serious chronic illnesses, including severe chronic kidney disease that requires hemodialysis sessions three times per week, type 2 diabetes, morbid obesity, cardiovascular disease, and peripheral vascular disease.

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The Inflammatory Phase of Wound Healing

By the WoundSource Editors

Wound healing is a complex biological process that involves a sequence of molecular and cellular events to restore damaged tissue. These events occur within the extracellular matrix, a complex three-dimensional acellular environment that is present within all tissue and essential for life. Remodeling within this extracellular matrix is necessary for tissue repair throughout the wound healing process, including during the inflammatory phase.

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Burns

Burns occur when the skin comes into contact with a heat source or caustic substance, commonly fire or flames, boiling liquid, hot objects, electrical current, or chemical agents. Different mechanisms of injury that can cause a burn include scalding, fire, chemical exposure, electrical exposure, and radiation. The extent of injuries that can occur from a burn is highly variable, and morbidity and mortality tend to increase as the surface area of the burn increases. Proper classification of burns is essential in guiding the initial management of the burn wound and achieving optimal outcomes.

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Preventing Wound Chronicity

By the WoundSource Editors

Wound chronicity is defined as any wound that is physiologically impaired due to a disruption in the wound healing cascade: 1) hemostasis, 2) inflammation, 3) proliferation, and 4) maturation/remodeling. To effectively manage chronic wounds, we must understand the normal healing process and wound bed preparation (WBP). Wound chronicity can occur due to impaired angiogenesis, innervation, or cellular migration. The presence of biofilm and infection are the most common causes of delayed healing.

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platelet-rich plasma

Becky Naughton, RN, MSN, FNP-C, WCC

What if I told you that there is a substance that we can isolate from your own blood that can help to heal the most difficult wound? I envision a scene out of "Star Trek" where Bones does a quick scan of his patient, draws some blood, runs it through some machines, and then out pops a seemingly magical elixir. He studies this new yellow substance and then injects it back into his patient (with a quick and seemingly painless puff from his high-tech injector gun).

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Wound Care Costs

By Lydia Corum RN MSN CWCN

The times are changing in the world of wound care. There used to be a time when there were no problems with reimbursements, as long as the doctor wrote the order. Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations confuse clinicians and make the world of healing wounds much more difficult. The changes are in the area of denials with not enough information given for choosing dressings, use of negative pressure therapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Are all these changes needed? Why are these changes happening? What can hospitals and wound clinics do to make things better?

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Frequently Asked Questions

By Kara S. Couch, MS, CRNP, CWCN-AP

Hospital-acquired pressure ulcers (HAPUs) pose a challenge for acute and post-acute care environments and are listed as hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Other HACs include central line–associated blood stream infections (CLABSIs) and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs). Although CLABSIs and CAUTIs have seen a decrease in prevalence over the past decade, the HAPU is the only HAC that has not. In my recent WoundSource webinar, I discussed the topic of building a pressure ulcer prevention program within hospitals. The webinar is still available for viewing on WoundSource.com.

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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.