Wound Care in Older Individuals
Wound healing is a clinical problem, that is rising over the years, that is affected by age and multi-morbidity, which is when someone has two or more chronic conditions that affect their quality of life. This morbidity increases the risk of developing wounds and are extrinsic factors, however, there are also intrinsic factors that can intensify the development of chronic wounds.
As someone gets older, there are changes in body composition and energy imbalance, specially changes in the skin, with loss of elasticity and thinning of the dermis. These intrinsic factors make the skin vulnerable to trauma and have a major effect on wound healing.
Currently, the estimated number of chronic wound patients in the United States are 6.5 million, and it is estimated that these patients usually experience pain and loss of function and mobility. Furthermore, the costs spent with treating wound related complications are huge, which imply the necessity of a better plan for managing wound healing, specially in older people.
The care of elderly patients with chronic wounds requires a multidisciplinary approach, that incorporates the skills of nursing, geriatric medicine, and palliative care. This approach makes it possible to achieve wound healing, costs reduction and improve the patient’s outcomes. Specialized wound centers have also been developed to better heal the most difficult chronic wounds, specially for elderly people.
For patients that use medical devices on a daily basis, the medical adhesive-related skin injuries (MARSI) are also another important thing to be aware of and to be prevented, so that there are no further harmful effects that compromise the integrity of the skin. Fortunately, MARSI is easily preventable if the products used are correctly chosen, as the adhesive used, for example. Current adhesives are viscous, chemical, and glue-based materials, that cause a lot of pain to patients, and that can lead to complications in elderly people.
A way to erase MARSI is using products like Bio2Skin, a glue-less medical adhesive, that overcomes the disadvantages of the current medical adhesives and that can be an important solution for providing better quality of life and health to older individuals, using a sustainable product with impact in the environmental and financial healthcare system.