Wound Assessment

WoundSource Editors's picture
Surgical wound drainage

By the WoundSource Editors

In normal wound healing, exudate plays an important role in allowing the migration of cells across the wound bed, facilitating the distribution of growth and immune factors vital to healing. Managing wound drainage involves making sure that exudate production is not too much or too little, and making sure the exudate does not have pus which would indicate an infection. Proper wound drainage management improves the patient's quality of life, promotes healing, and enhances health care effectiveness.

WoundSource Editors's picture
wound healing

By the WoundSource Editors

Promoting the wound healing process is a primary responsibility for most health care practitioners. It can take 1-3 days for a closed wound to actually establish a seal. Infections usually occur in 3-6 days but may not appear for up to 30 days, according to the CDC guidelines for preventing surgical infections. The wound healing process can be seen as an overlapping healing continuum, which can be divided into four primary phases:

Martin Vera's picture
diabetic foot ulcer

By Martin D. Vera LVN, CWS

In this last of our three-part series on lower extremity wounds, we will focus our attention on diabetic foot/neuropathic ulcers. Research indicates that the United States national average for diabetes mellitus (DM) accounts for a little over 8% of the nation, or roughly over 18 million Americans afflicted with this disease—what the industry refers to "the silent killer" for the amount of damage it causes. DM has the capacity to affect vision and circulation, as well as increase the incidence of stroke and renal disease, just to name a few associated problems. Over 20% of individuals with diabetes will develop ulcerations, with a recurrence rate of over 50% for diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) alone. Overall, lower extremity wounds have recurrence rate of 40-90%. We have our work cut out for us. So, let's put our deuces up, recognize early intervention, and try our best to manage and prevent complications associated with DM.

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Holly Hovan's picture
comparison

By Holly Hovan MSN, APRN, CWOCN-AP

As wound care clinicians, we are aware that part of the process of consulting requires a comprehensive wound assessment, looking at wound characteristics, causative factors, and drainage. As I've previously mentioned, we've all heard the term, "a dry cell is a dead cell." However, not all wounds are dry.

Cheryl Carver's picture
pressure-injuries

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

Incorrect staging of pressure injuries can cause many types of repercussions. Incorrect documentation can also be worse than no documentation. Pressure injuries and staging mistakes are avoidable, so educating clinicians how to stage with confidence is the goal.

Martin Vera's picture
Arterial Wounds

By Martin D. Vera LVN, CWS

As we move forward in our continuation of lower extremity wounds, we will now turn our attention to arterial wounds. In my previous post, we discussed challenges with venous leg ulcers. Lower extremity wounds continue to challenge clinicians on a daily basis. We often refer to them as "the big three" – or how I like to refer to them, "the pesky triplets." It doesn't matter what we call them, we know we are referring to venous leg ulcers, arterial ulcers, and diabetic foot ulcers. In no way shape or manner will we disregard the many other types of lower extremity wounds we may encounter as wound clinicians, but these three are the most common and often present with treatment challenges.

Holly Hovan's picture
staff education in wound care

By Holly Hovan MSN, APRN, ACNS-BC, CWON-AP

As I am sure we are all well aware, not everyone loves wounds, ostomies, and continence as much as we do. Some nurses just do not have the passion (or desire) to perform wound care and learn about different modalities. On the other hand, some nurses are so eager to learn, obtain certification, and be the unit-based experts! In my experience, taking a hands-on approach to wound care education has been the most successful in terms of teaching wound assessment and dressing changes/techniques.

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Thomas Serena's picture
SAWC Spring Conference Site

By Thomas E. Serena MD, FACS, FACHM, FAPWCA

Wound care Facebook friends from across the globe posted reports of their experiences at the Spring Symposium on Advanced Wound Care (SAWC) meeting in San Diego. Social media pronounced the meeting a huge success in hundreds of selfies, videos, and shots of the stage and the Gas Lamp district. In this month’s blog, I share my personal take on the nation’s largest wound care conference.

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Martin Vera's picture
venous assessment

By Martin D. Vera, LVN, CWS

Wound clinicians across the nation (and the world) are commonly faced with the difficult task of managing lower extremity wounds. Lower extremity wounds come in many different forms. We are not faced with a generic type, but several—in fact, we never know what we'll be presented with day-to-day.

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Janet Wolfson's picture
delayed wound healing

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

Delayed wound healing: how did it start, what are we doing to prevent delay, and what could we be doing differently when delay is noted?