Wound care clinicians, especially nurses, are overwhelmed with work. Job openings are available everywhere. Nursing shortages imply more work for existing clinicians who need time savers to stay abreast of evidence-based care development.
As such, health professionals struggling with challenging wounds and industry scrambling to create innovative products to face those challenges may seem frustrated that nothing has come along or appears on the horizon to revolutionize wound care. Wound care news includes several intriguing and promising concepts recently presented in peer-reviewed publications and all worthy of consideration and further research. Will these innovations be proven by ongoing, reputable scientific studies, published in reputable scientific literature, to be efficacious and effective and to make life and work easier for practitioners...or just a flash in the pan?
Electric dressings. A dressing that disrupts biofilm infection utilizing an electric field was developed through research conducted at the Indiana Center for Regenerative Medicine and Engineering (Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN). Bacteria use electric fields to communicate among themselves to form biofilm; researchers are exploring use of an electric field-based dressing instead of antibiotics (which can engender resistance) to break up biofilms. The low voltage is electrochemically generated and will not harm the patient. The United States Food and Drug Administration recently approved the dressing for burn care.
Wound monitors. An open-mesh electromechanical sensor that monitors lactate and oxygen on the skin, 2 critical biomarkers of wound healing progress, has been developed by researchers at the Intimately Bio-Integrated Biosensors Lab at Binghamton University (Binghamton, NY). The sensor structure is similar to the skin’s microarchitecture and can mimic the skin’s elasticity. The sensor’s creators hope it will enhance understanding of wound chemical and physiological activity.
Bioprinters. A mobile skin bioprinting system developed by the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (Winston-Salem University, Winston-Salem, NC) will facilitate printing bilayered skin directly into a wound. Dermal fibroblasts and epidermal keratinocytes are isolated from a small biopsy of uninjured tissue, expanded, mixed into a hydrogel, and placed into the bioprinter. Data from the scanned wound are fed into software that designates where in the wound the cells should be delivered, replicating and accelerating skin structure and function. The system provides solutions to the challenges of limited grafts from healthy autologous skin and from donors. The concept is awaiting clinical trials in humans.
Collagen powder. Collagen powder has been found to be as effective as primary closure with nonabsorbable sutures in managing skin biopsy wounds by physician researchers at the George Washington University, Washington, DC. Collagen powder helps stop bleeding, attracts immune and skin cells central to wound healing, stimulates new blood vessel formation, and does not cause irritation or foster bacterial growth.
Wound Management & Prevention news. Wound Management & Prevention has been indexed in the Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) since its inception as Ostomy Wound Management in 1985 and added to other indices throughout its 35-year history. Indexing is important because the scientific quality of indexed journals is thought to be more substantive than that of nonindexed journals. A journal’s impact factor (ie, the yearly average number of citations that recent articles published in a given journal received) is a reflection of the journal’s value among other publications and is calculated in Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports.
Beginning with the January 2019 issue, Wound Management & Prevention (previously categorized by several scientific publication indices primarily as a surgical journal) has been reclassified as a nursing/dermatology nursing journal, affecting how we are listed among these esteemed entities. These indices include the Social Sciences Citation Index, Journal Citation Reports/Social Sciences Edition, and Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences, in addition to current listings in Science Citation Index Expanded (also known as SciSearch), Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, and Current Contents/Clinical Medicine. The reclassification will result in easier and more appropriate access for researchers (which, in turn, will improve our impact factor) and, more importantly, will facilitate enhanced access for clinicians looking for evidence-based guidance at the bedside.
From quality of life to quality of care, we are determined to keep you abreast of what’s happening in the wound care niche. You can rest assured Wound Management & Prevention is certainly not a flash in the pan.