Wound care

If you have a wound such as as a leg ulcer, pressure injury (pressure ulcer/sore)  or slow to heal abdominal wound read on. If you are a healthcare professional there are downloadable resources, just open an account and you will have access to them.

Wounds heal by:

  • stopping any bleeding (forming a clot) if necessary.
  • Reacting effectively to invasion of germs (inflammatory response)
  • Laying down new proteins and growing new blood vessels (proliferation).
  • Remodelling.

Sometimes a wound may get stuck in the inflammatory part of the healing process and become a chronic wound that doesn't show any progress toward healing even after 4 weeks.

MOIST WOUND HEALING

Cells can not produce proteins or divide in a dry environment. All biological processes need moisture, look at a desert how much life is there, compared to a moist and prolific rain forest. The other  side of this delicate balance is a wound that is soggy and wet, just like a swamp the biology within it is waterlogged and smelly. It is important to get the balance right, not always an easy task. Modern dressing products are designed to do this but there can be an art to the choices made.

Wound Care needs to start with efficient first aid to stop bleeding. Once this is done there needs to be effective removal of dirt and debris, followed by stitches or adhesive strip to closely align the edges and prevent 'shearing'. Some head wounds can be sealed by tying a few hairs either side of the laceration together. There is a special sterile wound glue  that rapidly sets which can be used for minor cuts providing it is not near the eyes.

Non traumatic wounds are often termed chronic even though some of them occur quickly and heal in a timely manner. Traumatic wound can become chronic particularly in people with diabetes. The word chronic in relationship to wound care means that whatever type of wound it is, there has been no progress toward healing within 4 weeks.

Examples of non traumatic wounds are:

  leg ulcers caused by inadequate blood return from the legs,

  pressure injuries caused by pressure and or shear,

  moisture lesions from incontinence,

  secondary skin infection (eczema, psoriasis, insect bites)

  Cysts, abscesses and surgical excisions

  Cancers