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October is Surgical Wound Management Month

Advancing Post-Operative Care to Reduce Surgical Wound Complications

As part of the WoundSource Practice Accelerator series, we are offering you this educational portal into a variety of topics related to surgical wound management.

Please scroll below to choose your learning experience and please share this page with your social network and colleagues. Expanded awareness leads to better prevention and care!

DOWNLOADABLE WHITE PAPER

Surgical Wound Management: A Guide to Post-Operative Wound Care

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Post-operative failure of the surgical wound to heal is the most common major complication related to surgical wound management. This failure is often the result of surgical site infection (SSI), which can lead to wound dehiscence. SSIs are serious and costly surgical wound complications that adversely affect patients’ quality of life. Being aware of risk factors for SSI can aid in preventing these infections. If an SSI does develop, however, validated assessment tools are available, as well as a classification system and evidence-based treatment modalities.

Download the white paper

ON-DEMAND WEBINAR

When Acute Healing Goes Wrong: Surgical Wounds and Surgical Site Infections

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Surgical wounds with infection are some of the costliest wounds encountered by health care professionals, and often occur after discharge from the hospital. Understanding the cause of surgical wounds can help health care professionals better understand how to prevent them from occurring. This presentation reviews the impact of surgical wounds and provides tips on how to prevent and treat surgical wounds. Presented by Dr. Thomas E. Serena, MD, FACS, FACHM, MAPWCA.

Register for the webinar
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Quick Facts – Surgical Wound Management

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Download Quick Facts – Surgical Wound Management and share it within your facility. This two-page fact sheet was created to support staff education on the prevention and treatment of surgical wounds. The print-friendly format is perfect for posting on the bulletin board or distributing to your nursing staff at in-service.

Download the fact sheet

How Much Do You Know About Surgical Wound Management?

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How much do you know about surgical wound management? Take our 10-question quiz to find out!

Take the quiz

Terms to Know: Surgical Wounds

Acute Wound: A wound that is following a predicted pattern of healing that should result in complete functional closure.

Chronic Wound: A wound that has failed to re-epithelialize after three months, usually because of failure to progress past the inflammatory phase of wound healing.

Epidermal Resurfacing/Stratification: Epidermal cells that proliferate and migrate across the surface of the wound from the wound margins and develop multilayered/stratified layers of epidermis.

Read the full glossary
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Read This Month's Featured Blogs

Surgery

Surgical Wounds 101

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate approximately 30 million surgical procedures are performed annually in the United States. Advances in technology have afforded patients options such as minimally invasive surgery, commonly known as laparoscopic or arthroscopic surgery, which tend to result in much smaller (1cm–2cm) incisions. However, some procedures necessitate larger incisions of varying size, potentially 10cm–20cm or greater, depending on type of procedure, body habitus, and anatomic area involved. These longer incisions create larger surgical wounds with greater potential for chronicity and complications.

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Surgical Wound Care: Surgical Site Infection Prevention

Surgical site infections (SSIs) account for 20% of total documented infections each year and cost approximately $34,000 per episode. SSIs are responsible for increased readmission rates, length of stay, reoperation, morbidity, and mortality, as well as increased overall health care costs. A 2008 estimate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that diagnosis of SSI is associated with increases in hospital length of stay of up to one to two weeks and a risk of death nearing 10-fold that of patients without SSI. Although the sequelae and associated financial impact of SSI are dependent on multiple factors—including patients’ status before surgery, type of surgical procedure, and treatment of identified pathogen—annualized estimates have reached $10 billion.

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Post-Operative Surgical Wound Management: Key Treatment Considerations

Appropriate surgical wound and incision management in the post-operative time period is imperative to prevent complications, including surgical site infection and wound dehiscence. The tenets of modern wound management are applicable to primarily closed incisions, as well as to subacute and chronic wounds. Preventing incisional infection by appropriate cleansing, skin care, and moisture management is a requisite part of the post-operative plan of care. A cursory knowledge of the phases of wound healing and healing by intention will assist with understanding the rationale and importance of post-operative surgical wound and incision management.

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Managing Surgical Site Complications

Surgical site infections (SSIs) are the most prevalent surgical wound complications, comprising approximately 15% of all health care–associated infections, with more than 500,000 reported yearly. Preventing SSIs is perhaps the best way to prevent further surgical wound complications. There is not a large, differentiable list of subsets of surgical wound complications that are treated with separate, discrete interventions; many complications, such as wound dehiscence, are direct results of SSIs. As such, an overview is provided with strategies to manage and prevent SSIs.

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