Addressing Patient Factors Affecting Wound Care
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Successful wound care takes a multifaceted approach, allowing physicians and patients to work together on all factors affecting wound healing to form a systemic plan for treatment. Here are some key elements of the wound care process that should be solidified early on in the treatment plan.
Nutrition And Exercise
We speak about nutrition a lot when we talk about wound care.
While physicians work with physical wound care, the patient should be well-informed about adequate nutrition to keep their body in the best condition, as the patient’s metabolic demand is going to be higher than normal.
This is even more vital when helping patients with diabetes, where glucose intake should be closely monitored and medication if needed, can be given in the best manner for the patient. Some patients may struggle more than others with good nutritional care, so special attention should be paid to these groups. In particular, the elderly have specific wound care nutrition needs.
Physicians should be keeping a close eye on patient prealbumin levels, as this is found to be closely linked with improvements in patient outcomes. An assessment of the quality of the patient’s nutrition state should be conducted before treatment begins, which includes recording levels of prealbumin, total protein, lymphocyte count, iron, C-reactive protein, retinol-binding protein, and zinc.
In addition to good nutrition, exercise is equally important in the wound care process. Sufficient exercise goes a long way in helping patients, especially those who are diabetic or obese, gain more benefits from nutritional changes.
Physical health isn’t the only thing physicians should be paying attention to.
Patient noncompliance can be a major setback in the wound care process, and this is only worsened by any stress or anxiety the patient may be experiencing. Anxiety can make a patient feel too nervous to even come in for treatment.
By forming a closer relationship with patients, physicians can adequately provide support to help the wound treatment plan stay on track.
Stress around wound treatment appointments can often be linked to the pain a patient feels or thinks that they will feel during the visit with the physician. Keeping your patient calm and collected and verbally checking in with them during a dressing change or debridement will help to reduce their anxiety.
The timing and dosage of analgesia and other medications should also be considered carefully, as every patient is going to have a different response to pain. This will also naturally vary between treatment plans and the patient-specific wound care strategy.
Osteomyelitis And Other Infections
An untreated infection can lead to osteomyelitis and further complications with the wound’s healing. The best way to prevent osteomyelitis is to give careful attention to wound treatment or debridement and keep an eye out for any other signs of infection which could hamper the patient’s recovery. A bone biopsy will be any physician’s best option to give a diagnosis, but treatment will most likely require a multidisciplinary team to assist with the infection.
The best way to address patient factors in wound care is simple: communication. Keeping your patients informed and letting them speak their concerns or questions will help both the physician and the patient be prepared for the wound care strategy and to combat any potential hurdles to wound healing. Continuously reviewing the treatment plan, prescribed medications, and the progression of the wound’s recovery will give insight into how well the strategy is working for the patient.
Contact CūtisCare and see how we can help you improve patient outcomes with a systemic and patient-focused approach to wound care.