Healthpoint Launches Online Courses on Wound Care

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Healthpoint announces the launch of "The Biology of the Chronic Wound," a CE/CME accredited, online course designed to provide a thorough review of the factors that underlie one of the most challenging and costly conditions faced by physicians and advanced practice wound care clinicians. The course is available at no cost to clinicians on TheWoundInstitute.com, Healthpoint's online resource for professionally accredited CE/CME content.

Chronic wounds -- typically caused by vascular conditions such as diabetes(1), venous hypertension(2), and immobility-induced pressure on soft tissues(3) -- are associated with an economic burden estimated to be well over $15 billion annually in the U.S. alone.(4) "Healing difficult-to-heal or chronic wounds is a challenge for clinicians because these wounds do not proceed through the normal sequence of repair or proceed at a much slower pace," said course faculty Dr. Robert H. Demling, professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School and director of the Burn-Trauma Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital. "Because difficult-to-heal or chronic wounds are typically associated with the underlying pathology of serious conditions such as diabetes or venous insufficiency, they occur against a fundamentally different physiological backdrop than acute trauma wounds, and thus must be approached more proactively. This course offers clinicians an advanced understanding of the complex cellular and biochemical factors involved in chronic wounds."

The course will investigate the pathophysiology of chronic wounds, including an examination of the major systemic and local factors contributing to the development of a chronic wound.  In addition, the course features in-depth animations, interactive exercises and "expert opinion" video clips to help explain the complex cellular and biochemical differences between acute and chronic wounds.

Wounds that fail to heal within the first few months represent a difficult problem for the wound care practitioner and are a cause of prolonged suffering for the patient.

Difficult-to-heal or chronic wounds are often accompanied by complications that can result from the underlying condition or disease that may cause delayed wound closure.  The more serious complications require involved and costly treatments.(4)

Complications can include infection (including cellulites and abscesses), bacteremia and sepsis, pain, osteomyelitis, dermatitis, possible malignancy, amputation or patient fatality.(4,5)

In addition, such wounds are consistently associated with an impaired quality of life for patients.(6,7,8)

"Difficult-to-heal and chronic wounds have tremendous humanistic and economic impact," said Kathy Farley, MS, RN, Healthpoint's director of clinical education.  "With the launch of 'The Biology of the Chronic Wound' module, TheWoundInstitute.com is providing physicians and advanced wound care clinicians with current scientific information, which we hope will contribute to enhanced understanding of wound pathophysiology and, ultimately, to improved treatment strategies and better clinical outcomes."

References:

1.         Pham HT, Economides PA, Veves A. The role of endothelial function on the foot. Microcirculation and wound healing in patients with diabetes. Clin Podiatr Med Surg. 1998;15(1):85-93.

2.         Guillot B, Dandurand M, Guilhou JJ. Skin perfusion pressure in leg ulcers assessed by photoplethysmography. Int Angiol. 1988 Apr-Jun;7(2 Suppl):33-4.

3.         Schubert V, Perbeck L, Schubert PA. Skin microcirculatory and thermal changes in elderly subjects with early stage of pressure sores. Clin Physiol. 1994;14(1):1-13.

4.         Brem H, Kirsner RS, Falanga V. Protocol for the successful treatment of venous ulcers. Am J Surg. 2004;188(1A Suppl):1-8.

5.         Cali TJ, Bruce, M. Pressure ulcer treatment: examining selected costs of therapeutic failure. Adv Wound Care. 1999;12(suppl 2):8-11.

6.         Persoon A, Heinen MM, van der Vleuten CJ, de Rooij MJ, van de Kerkhof PC, van Achterberg T.  Leg ulcers: a review of their impact on daily life. J Clin Nurs. 2004:13(3):341-54.

7.         Hareendran A, Bradbury A, Budd J, Geroulakos G, Hobbs R, Kenkre J, Symonds T. Measuring the impact of venous leg ulcers on quality of life. J Wound Care. 2005;14(2):53-7.

8.         Nabuurs-Franssen MH, Huijberts MS, Nieuwenhuijzen Kruseman AC, Willems J, Schaper NC. Health-related quality of life of diabetic foot ulcer patients and their caregivers. Diabetologia. 2005 Jul 2; [Epub ahead of print]

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