OWM Blogs

Common Nonsense: Rediscovering Moist Wound Healing

  Recently, a brave colleague earned her PhD surveying usual wound care practices in Ghana. Her literature review, published in Ostomy Wound Management,1 described affordable moist wound healing options that speed wound healing while reducing infection, pain, and scarring.2,3 Hippocrates and the ancient Egyptians knew the wisdom of such practice from careful observations of nature, but myths obliterated this knowledge for millennia.

Wrinkly People, ERs, and Pressure Ulcers

  The title of a press release regarding a recent study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine elicited a wry smile. The clever wording, “Seniors Are Not Just Wrinkly Adults” took a little jab at those who need to be reminded not to merely lump our elders into anyone over 30 (or now is it 40? Or 20?!), just as we know not to treat children simply as littler people. The reality is that each decade presents its own healthcare challenges (that may then be subdivided according to individual health situations), and cookie cutter approaches don’t cut it.

The Treatment of Unintended Weight Loss: Costs More than Just Pounds

Nancy Collins, PhD, RD, LD/N, FAPWCA; and Allison Schnitzer, Dietetics Student

  Dietitians who work with patients who are losing weight because of illness, depression, or other physical impediments that prevent them from consuming a proper diet always are looking for ways to enhance appetite and restore lost pounds. Here is a cautionary tale on how a commonly used pharmaceutical product went astray.

  On March 5, 2013, New Jersey-based Par Pharmaceutical pleaded guilty in federal court to promoting its AIDS appetite drug megestrol acetate (Megace ES) for the offlabel use of weight gain in senior citizens. Megace ES is a synthetic derivative of the naturally occurring steroid hormone progesterone. In July 2005, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug for the treatment of anorexia, cachexia, or unexplained significant weight loss in patients with AIDS, although the exact mechanism for how megestrol acetate produces results in anorexia and cachexia still is not known.

Standards and Certifications

  I frequently get questions from professionals new to wound care. Some are considering certification. Some have earned certification — CWOCN, CWS, WCC, or FAPWCA — and want to understand how it defines their position. These questions are common; perhaps you’ve been asked as well: What can I do with this certification? Is there a job description regarding what can or cannot be done with my certification?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment and Hypoglycemia

  Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) treatment can save a limb for the patient with a diabetic foot ulcer. But what if that same patient experiences a wide range of glucose levels? Consider this real life scenario: A patient arrives for his HBO treatment, and his blood glucose is tested pre-treatment in accordance with the typical policy. The result is 81 mg/dL. I have posed this to several wound care practitioners and the responses I received vary greatly from acceptable to deeply concerning. Let’s examine them one by one:

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