Impaired skin integrity continues to be challenging for the chronically ill and the cost of caring for wounds has increased dramatically over the past decade. The global traditional wound management market size is expected to reach $7.7 billion by the year 2028. Wound care products such as bandages, medical tape, and gauze that help to manage large wounds, and reduce the risk of infection have a price tag! According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the acute wounds market segment held the largest revenue share in 2020 so what does that mean to us?
Trust me, it isn’t good news that the wound management market is going to explode with business over the next 10 years. If the predictions are true, that means we will have more residents with wounds in our centers and we know that wounds have a huge, negative impact on quality of life and are often reflective of poor quality of care. Not trying to be a doomsday girl but think about the next decade of caregiving. I remember as an LPN we massaged bony prominences. Now that is a no-no. We padded heels with heavy gauze dressings to “prevent wounds”, also a no-no today. So, will there be some new magic for us to use going forward to prevent wounds?
My guess is no. What this means to me is that we need to go back to basics. Remember the back rub on shower days? What a great opportunity to really check your resident’s skin. What about feet? Are we relying on a visit with podiatry every 60 days to tell us someone has a problem with their feet? Even basic things like nutrition and hydration, medical device evaluations to prevent injuries related to them (i.e., oxygen tubing, indwelling catheters, etc.), and don’t forget the pocket on the back of the wheelchairs. Are you using them for transporting oxygen tanks or storing foot pedals? If so, are you sure they are not causing pressure to your resident’s back? Think about the things we take for granted, look a little deeper, ask a few more questions and above all, first do no harm! Stay well, stay informed, and stay tuned!