Wound Healing Concepts
How are chronic wounds healed?
There are several contributing factors that help wounds heal. These wound-healing concepts include maintaining a moist wound bed environment, ensure good arterial and venous blood flow, avoiding infection, and supplementing with good nutritional habits. Depending on the type of wound and the patient’s health condition, a clinician will utilize various products to implement these concepts to achieve the healing goals.
What is a moist wound-healing environment?
A moist wound-healing environment is the ability to maintain a wound bed that is not too wet, yet not dry. As a rule, a proper wound bed is achieved when a dressing can easily be removed without disrupting the wound bed or without pain. When a dressing has difficulty being removed, use of a dressing that adds moisture like a hydrogel or Manuka Honey product is recommended. When wounds have excess fluid or exudate, they are considered “wet” and need to be managed with absorbing products.
What is exudate management?
When clinicians refer to exudate management, they are addressing the excess fluid in the wound that can cause maceration and slow the wound-healing process. They will use dressings to help absorb the exudate and contain this fluid in the dressing. When addressing high exudate wounds, the common product choices are Super Absorbent, Alginate dressings, and high-volume foam-based products. Moderate draining wounds will likely be addressed with foam products.
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Why is blood circulation important to heal wounds?
Proper blood flow delivers nutrients and oxygen to wounds. The arterial system delivers these necessary nutrients to the tissues and is driven by the function of the heart. Arterial and diabetic ulcers can be impacted by poor arterial flow and can be improved through a healthy lifestyle and addressing any potential blockages. The venous system returns the blood back to the heart for refueling. When the venous system is impaired, ulcers occur due to the lack of blood flow. This is addressed through compression therapy products such as graduated compression stockings, inelastic compression wraps, bandages and pneumatic compression pumps.
What is the role of infection control in wound healing?
Keeping the wound free from bacteria and microorganisms is a core component to progress through the wound healing process. When setbacks do occur, clinicians use tactics to “clean” the wound and get back on track. Some wounds require debridement which is the removal of dead or necrotic tissue through surgical, mechanical, or autolytic treatments. When a healthy wound bed is secured, clinicians will keep the wound clean with topical therapies, regular dressing changes and irrigating when necessary.
What is the role of nutrition during the wound-healing process?
Like all health conditions, eating a balanced diet of vegetables, protein, dairy, fruit, and grains will provide the nutritional value to help the body heal. Additionally, choose fruits and vegetables with high levels of vitamin C. Keep well hydrated throughout the day, drinking water over other beverages. Finally, refrain from foods and beverages with sugar when possible.
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