Wound Care and Wound Management

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The skin is the largest body organ, making up 16 percent of the total body weight. It plays key roles in the body including thermal regulation, sensation, production of vitamins immune functions. Skin is one of the most dynamic body organs, constantly undergoing change. The outer layers of the skin are shed off and are replaced by newly formed cells which move to the surface.

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According to Sorensen (2012), A wound is a distraction of the normal functioning of the skin or skin structure. An acute wound damage caused by trauma inflicted on skin cells. This can be intentional as in cases where doctors conduct surgical procedures or by accidents such as blunt objects, chemicals, electricity or heat. An acute wound is expected to heal progressively through the normal wound healing stages and with time the wound will close up.

Romanelli (2014), in his study found out that a chronic wound; is one that fails to respond to normal treatment or does not progress as other normal wounds over the normal expected healing time frame (usually four weeks). Instead, the healing process stagnates at the inflammatory phase. Chronicity of wounds can be attributed to a series of intrinsic and extrinsic factors which include poor nutrition and inappropriate dressing.

Dettmers, Brekelmans, Leijnen, & Ritchie (2016) found out that there are numerous causative types of wounds; Acute surgical wounds: during surgical procedures, a sharp object may be used to deliberately cut through the skin tissues. Acute wounds normally undergo a natural process of healing where the damaged tissues and cells will undergo restoration and body anatomy, and functioning will ultimately achieve their integrity. An acute wound that fails to heal within a period of 6 weeks might end up becoming a chronic wound.

Trauma wounds are as a result of a stressful event caused by mechanical or chemical injury that leads to damage of tissues. Trauma can have a serious short term and long term effects based on its level.

According Jeschke & Rogers (2016) Burns are injuries sustained by skin tissues due to heat, electricity, friction or radiation. Heat causes rug burns while friction cause rope burns. Chemicals, on the other hand, cause caustic burns when one comes into contact with them. Chronic wounds usually fail to heal orderly and within the expected times. There are different environments for chronic and acute wounds. Some of the clinical signs of chronic wounds include lack of reduction of the size of the wound as time progresses, frequent and recurrent breakdown of the wound, and the granulation tissue is unhealthy.

Pressure injuries according to Melbourne 2016, are injuries to the skin and the underlying tissues mostly on a bony surface as a result of friction or pressure, or a combination of both. Infected wounds: pathogenic microorganisms can invade wound tissues, causing additional damage to cells and tissues through secretion of toxic substances.

Dickinson & Gerecht (2016) study have generated sufficient evidence to show that a moist environment is ideal for the healing process of wounds. As a result of this, there has been a proliferation of wound dressings that have higher acquisition costs than standards dressings, leaving wound care providers in a state of confusion as to when is the appropriate time to use these relatively more expensive methods.

Ubbink et al. (2013) found that advanced wound dressing, using foam, for instance, has more control of the wound surface through the retention of moisture and absorption of exudates; in the process, the wound base and the surrounding tissues are protected. Maintenance of optimal moisture content ensures that the patient remains comfortable before, during and after the wound dressing process. The choice of which dressing to use will vary depending on the nature of wound base and the exudates. The selection of the dressing to be used therefore calls for training, experience and a level of expertise in wound care.

Paul (2015) established that; the inflammatory phase takes up to three days from the point of infliction of injury. It is characterized by the body's natural reaction to injury and is characterized by vasodilation that leads to increased blood flow that leads to swelling, pain and redness. At times wound ooze may be experienced which is a normal function of the body response. The proliferation phase takes between 3 to 24 days and is the phase when the wound is undergoing healing. The body generates new blood vessels and tissues that cover the wound surface. It is the reconstruction phase, and the wound will ultimately become smaller as the healing process progresses. The maturation phase takes between 24-365 days is the final phase of healing and is characterized by the formation of scar tissues. At this phase, the wound is still at risk and should be adequately protected.

Hirsch et al. (2011) recommended the following healing mechanisms; Primary intention: this is where surgical wounds and recent traumatic injuries are dealt with by primary closure- the edges of the wound are secured by staples and minimal tissue loss and scarring occurs. Delayed primary intention is the surgical closure of a wound that is performed 3 to 5 days after a thorough cleaning of the wound bed has been done. Skin graft: this is the removal of a partial or full segment of the epidermis and the dermis, removing it from its blood supply source and transplanting it on another site to expedite the healing process and prevent infections.


Dettmers, R., Brekelmans, W., Leijnen, M., & Ritchie, E. (2016). Negative Pressure Wound Therapy With Instillation and Dwell Time Used to Treat Infected Orthopedic Implants: A 4-patient Case Series | Ostomy Wound Management. O-wm.com. Retrieved 18 September 2016, from http://www.o-wm.com/article/negative-pressure-wound-therapy-instillation-and-dwell-time-used-treat-infected-orthopedic

Dickinson, L. & Gerecht, S. (2016). Engineered Biopolymeric Scaffolds for Chronic Wound Healing. Frontiers In Physiology, 7. http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2016.00341

Hirsch, T., Limoochi-Deli, S., Lahmer, A., Jacobsen, F., Goertz, O., & Steinau, H. et al. (2011). Antimicrobial Activity of Clinically Used Antiseptics and Wound Irrigating Agents in Combination with Wound Dressings. Plastic And Reconstructive Surgery, 127(4), 1539-1545. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/prs.0b013e318208d00f

Jeschke, M. & Rogers, A. (2016). Managing severe burn injuries: challenges and solutions in complex and chronic wound care. Chronic Wound Care Management And Research, 59. http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/cwcmr.s86762

Melbourne, T. (2016). Clinical Guidelines (Nursing) : Wound care. Rch.org.au. Retrieved 18 September 2016, from http://www.rch.org.au/rchcpg/hospital_clinical_guideline_index/wound_care/

Paul, J. (2015). Wound pruritus: pathophysiology and management. Chronic Wound Care Management And Research, 119. http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/cwcmr.s70360

Romanelli, M. (2014). Chronic wound management and research. Chronic Wound Care Management And Research, 1. http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/cwcmr.s57937

SArensen, L. (2012). Wound Healing and Infection in Surgery. Annals Of Surgery, 255(6), 1069-1079. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/sla.0b013e31824f632d

Ubbink, D., Lindeboom, R., Eskes, A., Brull, H., Legemate, D., & Vermeulen, H. (2013). Predicting complex acute wound healing in patients from a wound expertise centre registry: a prognostic study. International Wound Journal, 12(5), 531-536. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/iwj.12149

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