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Wound Care

A wound refers to any breakage on the skin. If it is not treated properly, wound infection may result. Skin aging and some chronic diseases may also affect wound healing. Adequate knowledge of wound management is therefore very important.

Factors affecting wound healing

External factors

Include persistent pressure on the wound (which impairs circulation), repeated injuries, wound infection or improper wound care (e.g. misuse of antiseptics or dressing).

Internal factors

Include aging, chronic diseases like diabetes, long-term drug therapy, smoking and alcoholism (which impairs nutrient absorption).

All these factors may impair the immune system, making the wound more susceptible to infection which delays wound healing.

Principles of Wound Management

Prevent infection Apply strict aseptic technique in wound dressing. - Ensure sterile materials are being used.
Promote wound healing Avoid putting pressure on wound (such as too tight strapping, bandages or heavy blanket), as it may impair blood supply. - Assist the immobile or bed-ridden to change position regularly. - Maintain balanced diet.
Minimize further damage Avoid persistent pressure and friction on the wound. - Use hypoallergenic dressings if necessary.

Proper techniques in Wound Management

Carers should follow advice from doctor and bring the elder to a nearby clinic for regular wound dressing. Frail elders or elders with mobility problem could apply for the Community Nursing Services through doctor's referral during follow up. Observe for signs and symptoms of infection and consult doctor if necessary.

Signs and Symptoms of Wound Infection

  • Local signs of infection: pain, swelling, warmth, redness, smelly blood stained or cloudy secretion.
  • General signs of infection: fever, chills and rigor, rapid respiration, rapid pulse, headache, nausea, anorexia and malaise. Seek medical attention if there is suspected wound infection and delayed wound healing.
Wound care for different types of wound

Different types of wound requires different wound management skills.

Wound assessment and evaluation

Regular wound inspection helps to prevent pressure sores and skin infection, which is utmost important for frail elders.
Know more about Wound care for different types of wound Know more about wound assessment and evaluation
Wound cleansing

Proper wound cleansing techniques helps to enhance wound healing and prevent infection.

Cleansing fluid and dressing

There is various types of cleansing fluid and dressing materials that aids dressing and healing of different kinds of wound.
Know more about wound cleansing Know more about cleansing fluid and dressing materials