Independent Living

How COVID-19 Impacted Wound Care For Seniors

November 3, 2021 Category:
Skilled Nursing Facilities

Skilled Nursing Facilities

By March 2020, over 400 US skilled nursing care centers had a COVID-19 positive case at the least. The vulnerability and diversity of residents in the facility amplify the transmission and effects of coronavirus disease. To safeguard residents, many skilled nursing facilities kept non-essential staffers from entering the building. Those kinds of policies aid in curbing the virus transmission but can put residents requiring complex care, like people who have chronic wounds, at greater risk.

Around 8 million Americans need long-term care to an extent, and a big portion of them have wounds when in care. Given below is a summary of which patients might experience untreated wounds more than others.

  • As many as 36% of patients with home healthcare services
  • As many as 500,000 hospice care patients
  • As far as 35% of patients in skilled nursing facilities
  • As many as 27% of patients in need of long-term acute care

Senior patients aged at least 65 years also require the monitoring of post-surgery wounds for a higher possibility of wounds that take longer to heal and infections requiring rehospitalization. Elderly people constitute 33% of outpatient surgeries, which contribute to the around 9.5 million individuals that may need post-surgery wound care in the pandemic.

Up to around 2.5 million elderly people in care might just need chronic wound care in the epidemic period. The wounds tend to require treatment each day or each week, usually with the support of external healthcare providers. If untreated, the wounds could quickly contribute to infection, amputation, hospitalization, and even death.

The most difficult aspect of the epidemic is that a similar group of people is most at risk of COVID-19 complications and most require wound care. For this reason, caregivers in a nursing home and elsewhere should decide whether to expose patients to coronavirus or keep offering them wound care.

This form of care requires a visual inspection, which means that telehealth services alone cannot satisfy clinical needs. Telehealth videos do not have the fundamental requirements for communication, cross consultation and coordination. The videos cannot offer discrete wound bed comparisons over a long period. Think about how one’s present wound bed compares to 7 or 30 days before.

Visual wound care inspection requires precise imaging and wound inspection methods, and only specialized software can offer it. Almost every patient with a wound and needs specialized care is also the most at risk of developing COVID-19 complications.

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