Wound care case studies offer patients and doctors an idea of the best practices overall.

Case studies offer examples of how everything from patient behaviors to specific dressings can lead to a number of different wound healing outcomes.

To better understand just how vital they are, here are three case studies to consider:

Case Study #1

(Courtesy of Integra Extremity Reconstruction)

  • 58 years old
  • Male
  • History of diabetes

The patient had been diagnosed with Type II diabetes eight years prior and had recently seen his level of swelling increase. However, the patient sought out professional care when his left foot developed a severe ulceration that had yet to heal after three full months. When the patient was admitted to the ER, he was also suffering from an edema and erythema – severe red blotches – and the ulcer had developed into a deep space abscess. Physicians performed two separate debridements, in addition to a round of IV antibiotics, before placing a wound VAC. The wound itself had completely epithealized in 160 days, at which point the left foot showed no further signs of redness or ulceration. The wound site and left foot were continually monitored for an additional nine-month period.

Case Study #2

(Courtesy of the Trinitas Hospital Center for Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Medicine)

  • 48 years old
  • Male
  • History of left shoulder wound and smoking

For nearly 20 years, the patient experienced chronic wounds across his left shoulder, on or near the clavicle. This specific wound, however, remained untreated for several months and became necrotic and foul-smelling. After refusing a surgical intervention, the patient began radiation treatments. The wound was then dressed with saline and hydrogen peroxide gauze. When the patient’s shoulder developed an ulcerating mass, doctors performed a resection, removing tissue near the brachial plexus before ending with a regional flap rotation. After several weeks of hospitalization, doctors discharged the patient who was instructed to treat the wound at home with saline gauze dressings.

Case Study #3

(Courtesy of Smith & Nephew)

  • 21 years old
  • Male
  • No noticeable medical history

During a bonfire get-together with friends, the patient attempted to push several logs into the blaze, at which point he burned both of his hands. Before visiting the ER, the patient’s friends self-treated the burns by running cool water over them for several minutes. At the time of ER admission, the patient had superficial burns to his right hand and a partial thickness burn on his left palm. The patient’s hands were first wrapped with pads and gauze bandages before doctors turned to ACTICOAT dressing, which began to reduce the swelling in just two days. While the wound had totally epithelialized in under five days, the patient did develop an infection of Staphylococcus, but doctors did not find it severe enough to prescribe antibiotics.

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