Wound Assessment

Aletha Tippett MD's picture
Doctor meeting with nurse

By Aletha Tippett MD

If we let the body alone, can it take care of a healing a wound? In general, yes, leaving the body alone will get you further than some procedures because the body knows what to do, such as allowing autolytic debridement. If you look at the body, it is designed to heal, and it knows much more about that than we clinicians do. It is important to know what a wound looks like and how it should progress. If you know this, you can follow the progress of the wound and know healing is taking place.

Laurie Swezey's picture
identifying infected wounds

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

As health care providers, we are all familiar with the signs of wound inflammation. However, it can sometimes be difficult to determine whether a wound is inflamed, undergoing the normal and expected inflammatory response to tissue injury, or infected. In this article we’ll review the definition of infection and assessment of the potentially infected wound.

Aletha Tippett MD's picture
Scalpels

By Aletha Tippett MD

Typical treatment when osteomyelitis (bone infection) is discovered is to plan a surgical treatment, usually wide debridement, but up to and including amputation. I was recently treating an 80-year-old with a wound on her foot that was healing very well. But she went to a hospital for a UTI and they found osteomyelitis under that foot wound. After much discussion they convinced her amputation was the only way, so her leg was amputated and she is now in a nursing home.

Paula Erwin-Toth's picture
Patient and Provider

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

As summer gives way to fall, one of the first thoughts most of us have is back to school. Patients and caregivers often feel as though every day is the first day of school and they are being asked to take the final exam before they have learned anything. Learner readiness is the cornerstone of an effective teaching/learning process.

Cheryl Carver's picture
Staphylococcus aureus biofilm

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

One of my favorite topics to discuss in wound care is biofilms. When I conduct wound care in-services or trainings, I always ask the audience, "Who wants to tell me what a biofilm is?" There is silence. From that point, I proceed to tell my little story about biofilms. It sounds a little like this...You know when we go to bed at night, get up in the morning and feel that sticky film on our teeth? We brush our teeth with a minty-fresh toothpaste. Now our teeth feel clean. By the next morning, that sticky, fuzzy feeling returns, right? Or, when your pet's water dish develops that slimy swamp layer and then you change it? Well that, my folks, is a biofilm!

Margaret Heale's picture
Accountability

By Margaret Heale, RN, MSc, CWOCN

Most of the residents here are elderly, though some of the more acute rehab patients are quite a bit younger than me. We actually have five women over a 100 out of 116 people, quite impressive with the eldest being 105 years old. As for me, I am a retired British matron just doing a little volunteer work near where my granddaughter works.

Aletha Tippett MD's picture
periphereal vascular disease

By Aletha Tippett MD

I was recently talking to a young nursing student who told me she had had a terrible week and cried when she had to do wound care for a patient. When asked what the problem was she reported that her patient was an elderly man near death who had severe peripheral vascular disease with gangrene on both feet. He had severe pain whenever touched and she was instructed to wrap his legs with gauze and ace wraps.

Cheryl Carver's picture
Nursing Skills

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

As a wound care consultant, I receive many requests to conduct ongoing in-services of various topics with "all" nursing staff. This request is intended for the LVN/LPN and RN staff. My definition of "all" nursing staff is licensed nurses AND certified or state tested nursing assistants.

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Bruce Ruben's picture
doctor and patient

By Bruce E. Ruben MD

Life is a bunch of pivotal moments that move you on to the next phase. Like the moment you realize you're no longer a child. Or the moment it becomes clear that you have to change jobs. Later on, it's when you admit you can no longer maintain your home. And for many of us, there will be the moment you come to grips with the fact that you can no longer care for yourself without help.

Lydia Corum's picture
black widow spider

By Lydia A. Meyers RN, MSN, CWCN

In the times that I have worked with amazing hospitals and doctors, I have learned and gathered information on the differences between two types of necrotizing infections that happen in the world of wound care. Necrotizing fasciitis (NF) and spider bites can present as similar in nature and need immediate intervention.