Millions of Americans are affected by chronic wounds every year. In fact, PubMed.gov, a collaboration between the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, reports that in the United States alone, chronic wounds affect as many as 6.5 million patients.
Nurses nationwide, therefore, are responsible for the full scope of wound management and for a wide range of patients. They are constantly working to improve the quality of wound care and are benefiting greatly from new technologies that can deliver real-time data regarding a patient’s progress.
Fortunately, not every patient is suffering with chronic wounds. What this means for health care providers, however, is that there are various types of wound care management methods that they must be adept at applying in various situations. Here are five common treatments, according to a variety of sources:
1. Topical Dressings:
WoundSource.com starts off with the basics and defines topical wound dressings as “agents, such as creams, emulsions, oils and sprays, formulated for wounds and dermatologic conditions. Topicals indicated for wounds generally provide moisture to the wound bed and may also support debridement or reduce odor. Indications for dermatologic conditions depend on product formulation and ingredients, e.g., for short-term management of moderate itching associated with atopic dermatitis and lichen simplex chronicus.”
2. Vacuum-Assisted Closure:
According to Medical-Dictionary.com, a vacuum-assisted closure is “a system that uses the controlled negative pressure of a vacuum to promote healing of certain types of wounds. The edges of the wound are made airtight with foam and a dressing, and a tube is placed in the wound, connecting to a canister that creates a vacuum. Infectious materials and other fluids are then sucked out of the wound.”
3. Compression Therapy:
According to TodaysWoundClinic.com, “Compression therapy is considered a standard of care for chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) patients. A wound care practitioner’s instinctive response is to compress the edematous leg in an effort to control the cause of the wound rather than to simply dress the ulcer. Knowing when to apply compression, what compression or support to utilize, and how to safely compress are critical in the care of these patients.”
4. Electrical Stimulation:
To define electrical stimulation, PubMed.gov says that patients can either receive a customized, community-based standard wound care program, which includes pressure management, or they can undergo a wound care program, which includes a high-voltage pulsed current applied to the wound bed.
5. Bilaminate Skin Grafts:
According to WoundsResearch.com, a widely read, peer-reviewed journal focusing on wound care and wound research, “Surgical closure of large soft-tissue wounds presents a surgical problem in the care of patients who develop these defects. These defects predispose the patients to the development of infection and sepsis with subsequent high morbidity and mortality rates. Early excision and grafting have shortened hospital stay and decreased infectious complications in burn patients.”
When these methods are delivered in conjunction with a point-of-care wound management and risk prevention solution, the chances for a full wound recovery are greatly increased. To learn more about how nurses can evaluate and treat patients with chronic wounds – or wounds of any type – visit the WoundRounds website for more information.