Has your doctor prescribed wound care services? What is wound care, you ask? Learn more here.
Wound care and treatment is an important process to avoid serious complications. Without proper care, a wound can turn into serious infections such as cellulitis or sepsis.
The first couple weeks are the most important time to make sure you’re maintaining proper wound care management. If the wound is deeper or you find the wound is not healing properly, you may need 24-hour care to evaluate and treat the wound properly. This is also a good option if there are underlying health issues that could affect the healing process.
What is wound care though? If you’re considering wound treatment options, it helps to know what to expect with that care. Wound care treatment is a multiple-step process.
Wound Types and Stages
The wound treatment required depends on the type of wound you have. There are four categories that a wound can fall under:
An abrasion is a scrape on the skin. This is usually a minor wound with minimum bleeding.
A puncture is a hole in the skin. This type of wound may or may not bleed, but it can cause damage to internal organs.
A laceration is a deep cut in the skin. This type of wound involves heavy bleeding.
An avulsion involves the removal of tissue. These wounds also involve heavy bleeding.
Each wound type involves different levels of management to heal properly. A normal healing process involves four stages. A wound that follows these stages without complication is an acute wound.
- Hemostasis is the process of clotting to close off the wound and decrease blood loss. This process is immediate.
- Inflammation is also an immediate process. This is the process where the healing process begins. The inflammation occurs due to build up of fluid in the area.
- The proliferative stage is the process where new tissue is created. The skin begins to heal and the wound size decreases.
- Maturation is the final stage of healing. This is when the wound fully heals and all healing mechanisms return to normal.
If the body gets stuck at any stage of the healing process, the wound is considered a chronic wound. This is where advanced wound treatment is required.
Factors That Affect Wound Healing
If you have a wound that doesn’t heal properly, this may involve underlying issues. Underlying issues include health issues, medications and other treatments, and lifestyle factors. Health care personnel will check for these factors before deciding on a course of wound care treatment.
If you’re dealing with a chronic health issue, this can decrease your body’s ability to heal. To ensure proper healing, a treatment facility needs to get these issues under control.
Common issues that affect wound healing include:
- Pulmonary disease
- Heart conditions
- Thyroid issues
- GI diseases
It’s important to share any health conditions with treatment personnel so they can provide the best treatment options for you.
Medications and Treatments
Medications and other treatments can also affect wound healing. Chemo and radiation treatments break down your body’s defense mechanisms. This can slow or stop wound healing.
Certain medications such as steroids or anti-inflammatory drugs can also affect wound treatment. Make sure to share all treatments and medications with the treatment facility.
Many people don’t think about the habits and other lifestyle factors that affect wound treatment. These factors are important to consider though. Some lifestyle factors to keep in mind include:
- Drug use
While you may not like talking about some of these issues, they are important in considering proper wound care management. Your healthcare team needs to know all the factors that may affect the treatment options.
Each factor is considered when determining wound care medications and other treatment options. Make sure you’re completely honest about all the factors that could affect your wound management.
What Is Wound Care?
Wound care involves every stage of wound management. This includes diagnosing wound type, considering factors that affect wound healing, and the proper treatments for wound management.
Once the wound is diagnosed and all factors are considered, the treatment facility can determine the best treatment options. Depending on the wound severity, you may need more care and attention for your wound.
Step One: Analyzing the Wound
To begin wound treatment, you need to know what you’re dealing with. This analysis goes beyond determining the type of wound. To properly monitor wound treatment, your treatment team needs to evaluate the starting point.
To begin treatment, the team will determine the beginning appearance of the wound. This includes size, how deep it is, amount and type of drainage, and the appearance of the area around the wound.
Step Two: Proper Oxygenation
For a wound to heal, your blood needs to send proper oxygen to the area. Nutrition plays a big role in proper oxygenation.
To ensure adequate nutrition, wound treatment specialists will analyze your current nutrition needs, and prepare a meal plan to deal with any deficiencies.
They pay close attention to vitamins A and E as well as zinc. Protein intake is also considered to help with wound healing.
Step Three: Watch and Treat Infection
One aspect of what is wound care is watching out for infection. Personnel will monitor the wound closely to ensure infection does not set in. If an infection has already set in they will monitor and treat these issues.
Signs of infection include:
- Increased drainage or drainage that smells bad
- Continued bleeding
- Frail tissue around the wound
- Increased pain or cellulitis
- Fever and chills
If an infection is left untreated, it can become fatal. It’s essential to monitor progress closely.
Maintain Coverings and Cleanliness
To ensure infection doesn’t set in, proper care of the wound and bandaging is important. Bandages need regular changing, and the wound requires regular cleaning.
Cleaning the wound includes removing dead tissue and bacteria. Topical antibiotics are an option for this. The bandages get changed regularly to stop infection and to give the staff a chance to monitor the wound.
Finding the Right Treatment
If you have a wound that requires regular maintenance and treatment, you might consider a stay in a treatment facility. With care from a facility, you can get all your questions about what is wound care answered. You can also get the best treatment options for your wound care.