How to Treat A Chronic Wound [video]

Video author: Streaming Well
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Video Transcript

Streaming Well

How to treat a wound

The primary goal of any interventions in relation to wounds is always to achieve healing. That would be the same whether it's an acute wound or a chronic wound.

There are four initials that make up the word T.I.M.E--the pneumonic.

"T" is for tissue--obviously, ideally we'd like to see healthy tissue within each wound, but invariably there will be various tissue types. There may be sloughy material, which is devitalized, or there may be necrotic tissue, which is dead. Obviously, it is very important that the practitioner recognizes that so that he can use the appropriate treatment to correct it.

"I" is for inflammation or infection. It's very important,again, that practitioners appreciate that there is always going to be bacteria within a wound, but it's what that bacteria is actually doing. If it's causing an inflammatory response or there is a known infection, or a clear infection within the wound, again, it's important that that is treated, which may involve topical agents such as dressing products to correct that.

"M" is for moisture. Previously, it's been known that you should leave wounds open and exposed. That was the thinking. Now it's very clear that it's important to keep a moist wound environment as long as possible. The new interactive dressings help to do that. It is important that practitioners recognize how much moisture is in the wound, and if it is dry, again, try to correct the balance.

Finally, "E" is for edges--the edges of the wound. Again, it is very important for any practitioner to be aware of what's going on at the edge of a wound. It may give an indication that there's too much fluid from the wound being produced. Equally, it could allude to the fact that the patient has another condition, such as eczema, that equally requires treatment at the same time.

The sort of warning signs that a patient should look out for that might suggest that all is not well within their wound would be to observe or see if the skin around their wound had suddenly changed color, either become red or was warm to the touch, or if the amount of fluid that was coming out of the wound had suddenly increased with no obvious reason for that, or if the patient has the wound on a lower limb if that lower limb on the affected side suddenly increased in size, then it would be very important for the patient to report that to somebody, ideally the healthcare professional working directly with them about their wound care, which might be the district nurse or it could be a tissue viability nurse depending on which healthcare setting they're in.

Streaming Well - United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS, supported by 3M Health Care