Symposium Offers Education, Empowerment, and Entertainment

Symposium Offers Education, Empowerment, and Entertainment

Greer, Kathleen A

More than 1200 attendees, faculty members, and exhibitors traveled to warm, sunny Phoenix, AZ, to learn the latest in prevention and management of wounds at the 19th Annual Clinical Symposium on Advances in Skin & Wound Care, September 30 to October 3, 2004.

Educational sessions covered a variety of topics, including challenges in wound measurement, current guidelines for managing different wound types, the latest in burn care, clinical lab assessment values, legal issues, palliative care, wound bed preparation, bariatric surgery, lymphedema, skin substitutes and gene therapy, and inflammatory versus atypical ulcers. The lectures addressed basic, intermediate, and advanced levels of wound care to accommodate both the novice and seasoned practitioner.

As it has for the past few years, the Clinical Symposium kicked off with a moving presentation from a celebrity guest speaker. This year’s speaker was hijacking survivor Jackie Pflug, who detailed her journey to recovery after a gunshot injury to the brain in her lecture “The Courage to Succeed.”Read more about her story in “I Knew I Was Going to Be OK.”


The grand opening of the exhibits and poster presentations followed Ms Pflug’s presentation. Row after row of booths displaying the latest skin and wound care products and technology lined the expansive exhibit hall. For more on the newest products available, see Exhibit Hall: New Products for 2004.

More than 100 posters submitted by clinicians addressed a broad spectrum of issues in skin and wound management, including ulcerative changes caused by gout, the use of numerous topical wound products, the skin and wound challenges in managing oncology patients, the impact of education on preventing pressure ulcers, the use of advanced treatment modalities in difficult wounds, reducing the incidence of skin tears, diabetic limb preservation, and identifying best practices in wound care.

Four abstracts were selected for oral presentation during the conference:

* “Using the Braden Scale in Clinical Practice,” JoAnn Maklebust, MSN, APRN-BC, Detroit Medical Center, Detroit, MI

* “Anatomy, Physiology, and Homeostasis of the Skin: The Concept of Nourishment of the Skin to Enhance the Function and Restoration of Damaged, Impaired Skin, with Clinical Applications/’Jane Fore-Pfliger, MD, CWS, FAPWCA, Lewisdark Valley Wound Care Center, Clarkston, WA

* “Skin Tears in Long-Term Care: Effectiveness of Skin Care Protocols on Prevalence,” Darlene Hanson, MS, RN; Susan Hunter, MSN, RN; Julie Anderson, PhD, RN; Patricia Thompson, MS, RN; and Diane Langemo, PhD, RN, University of North Dakota, College of Nursing, Grand Forks, ND

* “Ultrasonic-Assisted Wound Treatment (SONOCA) vs MRSA & VRE: A case Series,” Mary M. Verhänge, BSN, RN, CWOCN, and Jeffrey A. Niezgoda, MD, FACEP, FACHM, The Center for Comprehensive Wound Care and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, St. Luke’s Medical Center, Aurora Health Care, Milwaukee, WI.


Two annual award presentations were among the many highlights of the symposium. Before the general educational sessions began, Symposium Director Sharon Baranoski, MSN, RN, CWOCN, APN, DAPWCA, FAAN, presented Diane Langemo, PhD, RN, University of North Dakota College of Nursing, Grand Forks, ND, with the 2004 Sharon Baranoski Founder’s Award. Dr Langemo has been involved in wound care, through teaching and research, for more than 17 years. She is a member of the editorial advisory board of Advances in Skin & Wound Care.

Richard “Sal” Salcido, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Advances in Skin & Wound Care and Course Director of the Clinical Symposium, joined Ms Baranoski at the podium to present Laura Bolton, PhD, with the Outstanding Peer Reviewer Award. The award recognizes Dr Bolton’s exceptional efforts as a peer reviewer for Advances in Skin & Wound Care. Dr Bolton is Director of Scientific Affairs, ConvaTec Wound and Skin Care, Skillman, NJ. She, too, is a member of the editorial advisory board of Advances in Skin & Wound Care.


A mix of general and breakout sessions offered numerous educational opportunities for attendees. The following are just a few of the highlights.

In the keynote address/’Skin: The Aging of America,” Robert A. Norman, MD, Dermatology Healthcare, Tampa, FL, emphasized the need for health care providers across the care continuum to recognize and treat skin disorders in older adult patients. He noted that as the number of Americans over age 65 rises, so will the instances of skin disease. In fact, he said, skin disease is more common in older adults than in the general population.

Dot Weir, RN, CWOCN, Orlando Regional Wound Healing Centers, Orlando, FL, and Jeffrey A. Niezgoda, MD, FACEP, FACHM, The Center for Comprehensive Wound Care and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, St. Luke’s Medical Center, Aurora Health Care, Milwaukee, WI, mixed humor with education in their general session,”Kitchen Chemistry.” Fashioning the lecture in the style of a television show-complete with commercial breaks and telephone callers-they stirred both laughter and debate among attendees. The presentation focused on how they combine wound care products when managing compromised wound patients to achieve a synergistic effect, speed wound healing, and improve outcomes. They acknowledged that the concepts they presented are based on their opinions and experience, not a body of literature.

Chris Barkauskas, BS, RN, CWOCN, APN; Linda Galvan, BSN, RN, CWOCN, APN; and Andrea McIntosh, BSN, RN, CWOCN, APN, all from Silver Cross Hospital, Joliet, IL, thoroughly reviewed the principles behind compression therapy and examined relevant products in a 2-part mastery session, “Compression Therapy: Mastering Products and Skills.” The trio looked at signs and symptoms of venous disease, explained and demonstrated the ankle-brachial index for screening, and provided a comprehensive review of how and why to use 2-layer and multi-layer compression bandaging systems.

Caroline E. Fife, MD, Hermann Center for Wound Healing and Lymphedema Management, Houston, TX, examined “Lymphedema: Etiology, Assessment, and Interventions.” She reminded attendees of the relationship between edema and wound healing-that is, prolonged lymphostasis reduces the partial pressure of oxygen in tissue, which negatively affects wound healing. In addition, the chronic inflammation around a nonhealing wound may contribute to lymphedema. Dr Fife reviewed possible treatment options for lymphedema, including manual lymphatic drainage, bandaging, exercise, compression garments, mechanical pumping, and patient education.

Catherine Ratliff, PhD, APRN-BC, CWOCN, from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, was a primary author of the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society’s Guideline for Prevention and Management of Pressure Ulcers. In her lecture, “Pressure Ulcer Guidelines 2004: An Update,” Dr Ratliff explained the process involved in developing the guideline and shared the highlights, including how to assess/ evaluate wound healing, options for pressure relief, and strategies for wound management.

Richard “Sal” Salcido, MD, and Adrian Popescu, MD, from the University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia, PA, led the research forum, “Physical Modalities and Wound Care: What’s the Evidence?” They examined the literature to find support for the use of a variety of physical modalities, including electrical stimulation, electromagnetic stimulation, negative pressure therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, laser therapy, monochromatic near-infrared therapy, and iontophoresis and phonophoresis. They concluded that physical modalities represent a viable adjunct to standard wound care, but that more randomized, double-blind, controlled trials are needed.

“Pictorial Documentation and Post-Amputation Rehabilitation” was addressed by James B. McGuire, DPM, PT, CPed, CWS, FAPWCA, Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine, Philadelphia, PA. He shared the American Professional Wound Care Association’s guidelines for digital photography of wounds:

* Use the same camera for successive images.

* Use the same image resolution settings on the digital camera.

* Use the same light source, intensity, and angle.

* Have the camera at the same angle, distance, rotation, and height from the wound.

* Choose either predebridement or postdebridement for all images in a sequence.

* Select the same magnification for the digital camera lens (zoom).

* Choose a naming convention and put case identification, number, or date on the image.

* Choose image archive software that will allow keyword searches and audio tags with images.

* Have the wound in the same relative position as in previous images.

* Use”fiducial”reference markers wherever possible to achieve consistency (ie, patient code/medical record number, last 4 digits of the Social Security number, date, visual measuring scale in centimeters).


The 20th Annual Clinical Symposium on Advances in Skin & Wound Care will be held October 23 to 26, 2005, at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, NV. Oral and poster abstract submissions are due by August 1, 2005, as are nominees for the Sharon Baranoski Founder’s Award.

To be added to the mailing list, call 1-800-346-7844, ext 7750, or visit the conference Web site for more information,

Copyright Springhouse Corporation Nov/Dec 2004

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