Editorial Staff

Editor Barbara Zeiger

Assistant Editor Lauren Mateja

Web Content Coordinator Katherine Blessing

Editorial Correspondence

Barbara Zeiger, Editor, OWM

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January 2013 | Volume 59 - Issue 1

A Retrospective Descriptive Study of Nursing Home Residents with Heel Eschar or Blisters


Pressure ulcers on heels are a serious problem in nursing home patients and can lead to complications. Current clinical guidelines recommend leaving dry heel eschar intact, but the evidence for this recommendation is largely based on expert opinion and not always followed. To examine outcomes of heel pressure ulcers in nursing home patients, a retrospective study was conducted by reviewing the charts of patients in 15 different nursing homes who had a heel eschar or a heel blister during a period of 50 months....

A Prospective, Descriptive Study to Assess the Reliability and Usability of a Rapid Foot Screen for Patients with Diabetes Mellitus in a Complex Continuing Care Setting


  Inlow’s 60-second Diabetic Foot Screen is a paper-pencil tool developed to guide professionals in the completion of a quick foot assessment of persons with diabetes mellitus to determine recommended frequency of assessments. The tool has been used in various healthcare settings and its reliability and validity previously tested in acute and long-term care settings....

Oriental Medicine and Chronic Wound Care: Theory, Practice, and Research


  In East Asian countries, oriental medicine (OM) has been used for thousands of years to manage a wide variety of chronic wounds, but in western countries the role of OM in wound care remains to be established. To summarize current practices and available evidence of OM in the management of chronic wounds, a search of Chinese and English databases was conducted and summarized with an emphasis on randomized controlled trials, clinical trials, and meta-analyses of topical and systemic OM treatments. Hundreds of reports were identified, mostly in the Chinese literature, but few randomized controlled clinical studies have been conducted. Available preclinical and clinical evidence suggests there may be a role for OM modalities, especially herbal medicine, in the management of chronic wounds. Before conducting the needed rigorous clinical studies, wound care experts should agree on and help standardize herbal formulations — a unique challenge for the usually individualized OM approach to care. However, the literature suggests uncovering pathways for future research may help patients all over the world benefit from the thousands of years of documented experience managing chronic wounds with OM....

Editor’s Opinion: Ready or Not. The New Year is Here!

  A new 12 months seems like a lot of time, at least for a few days in January. Will the new year have even more surprises in store than the year before? What is around the corner?   One thing definitely around our corner is full implementation of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. When it was signed into law, the year 2014 seemed far away. From day one, a number of states vowed to not participate in the expansion of Medicaid as one of two main ways to expand healthcare coverage to the uninsured. The ink on the new law was barely dry before the first legal challenge was filed. Uncertainty about the outcome of these legal actions, fundamental resistance of some governors to expand Medicaid, combined with hopes that perhaps a different administration would take over in Washington this year have caused major implementation delays. As of this writing, 15 states had committed to participate some time ago, most remain undecided, and approximately nine states are likely to remain in the “definitely not” column....

Progress in Practice: Next Generation Foam Technology

Progress in Practice: Foam Technology, a new sponsored column for 2013, will familiarize Ostomy Wound Management readers with advancements in and practical application of foam dressings. This first column was excerpted with permission from authors from Wounds UK 2012;8(4supplement):3–7.

The Role of Foam Dressings

  Foam dressings have been commercially available for more than 30 years for the management of exuding wounds. The composition and mode of action among foam dressings varies,1 with different methods of absorption and physical performance characteristics.2 Developments in foam dressing technology have focused on increasing moisture vapor transmission rate and absorbency to provide higher fluid handling capacities and on improving adhesive characteristics, primarily by moving from acrylic-based adhesives to atraumatic silicone-based adhesives....

Pearls for Practice: Moisturization and Lubrication: A Proven Remedy for Dry, Scaly, Flaky Skin

  The process of aging results in drier, thinner skin that has less natural moisturization and is prone to injury.1 Edema fluid inactivates oleic and linoleic acid in the skin, making it susceptible to streptococcal invasion and cellulitis.2 Epithelialization that closes full-thickness ulcers lacks dermis and dermal appendages such as sebaceous and eccrine glands.3 Diabetes mellitus causes dermopathy and micro-angiopathy that leads to less pliant and scaly skin.4 The dermal tissue in the pretibial area is not well vascularized and is difficult to heal, especially in the elderly patient.5 Each of these factors, or any combination of them, can result in dry, scaly, flaky skin. Such skin results in pruritus. Rubbing or scratching the pruritic dry skin can result in irritation and a secondary superficial infection....

Continence Coach: Anxiety and Fears in Women with Overactive Bladder

  The National Association for Continence (NAFC) recently released findings from a 2012 nationwide survey of women regarding overactive bladder (OAB), the sixth national survey of Americans orchestrated by the NAFC in the last 12 years. Supported by a grant to the NAFC from MSD Consumer Care, Inc, a subsidiary of Merck & Co, Inc, the research was conducted by Kelton Global Research and contracted by the NAFC. The survey compared responses from 1,017 women ages 40 to 65 years with no OAB symptoms to 652 women of the same ages with mild to moderate symptoms of OAB. The margin of error in comparing the two major groups of respondents was ± 3.8%....

My Scope of Practice: Educating It Forward

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. — James Arthur Baldwin, novelist

  Nursing is a combination of art and science. A nurse needs to have medical skills to help physically heal a patient; at the same time, a certain finesse is necessary in terms of choosing and especially explaining care. With more than 29 years as a wound, ostomy, continence nurse, Susan A. Bell, RN, MSN, CWOCN has mastered this combination, with a special emphasis on education.

  Susan earned her diploma in professional nursing at Mercer Medical Center School of Nursing (Trenton, NJ) in 1977. After graduating, she worked as a staff nurse — first on the spinal cord injury unit at St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center (Lawrenceville, NJ) and later in the critical unit, intensive care unit, and coronary care unit at Princeton Medical Center (Princeton, NJ). In 1981, Susan graduated from Trenton State College with her Bachelors of Science in Nursing. She spent the next 2 years working with the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Trenton as a Public Health Nurse, providing home care services to patients....

AAWC Update: The AAWC Speakers Bureau

AAWC Update: The AAWC Speakers Bureau: a network of speakers created with wound care specialists in mind

  AAWC Members: Are you interested in being part of the AAWC’s Speakers Bureau? The AAWC is currently taking applications. As a member of the Bureau, you will have the opportunity to be seen and selected by any number of potential clients. Or, if you are looking for a qualified speaker, the Bureau is your go-to resource!

  How does the program work? The AAWC’s dedicated staff initiates the introduction between speaker and client in response to a request for a speaker for a noted area of expertise/interest. The speaker can accept or decline the client’s invitation. All further arrangements are made between client and speaker. Although the Bureau’s policy is not to collect a speaker’s fee, Bureau speakers may accept honoraria and expense reimbursement negotiated with the client. The AAWC and its Speakers Bureau do not guarantee utilization of any speaker on its Bureau, nor do they guarantee any specific number of presentations. Please visit http://aawconline.org/speakers-bureau-program/ for the full guidelines....