What Nurses Need to Know About Cutting

Chronic consitions anf acute care crises are not the only area in which nurses serve their patients. Nurses must be vigilant to observe compulsive and dissociative disorders beginning among their patients in care. When a patient is at risk for harming themselves, the situation becomes a health care crisis.

Patients under monitoring will exhibit patterns of normal behavior. Then changes in a patient’s habits will stand out.  One aberrant behavior that signals the need for attention is cutting. Cutting may sound odd, even absurd to most people when first encountering the medical disorder. But cutting is no laughing matter. It can affect housewives, adolescents, students, and profession people of all ethnicities  and at every education level.

Yet the  problem of cutting is more widespread than thought at first, although experts cite early underreporting as a major factor. Many caregivers may not wish to risk their position on an intervention. Irregular nursing staffing can result in turnover that prevents consisted reliability between caregivers with an opportunity to see cutting symptoms.

Cutting is a problem that has become a recognized part of the vocabulary of disorders and psychological signs of emotional distress in people. Striking mainly juveniles and adolescents, cutting is a practice where the physical mutilation of the skin serves no purpose but abuse. Cutting flourishes in environments where body checks and inconsistent observation is the norm.

Both women and men suffer from cutting. The inclination will start small, and the disorder will build as the victim of cutting behavior learns to harm themselves routinely. Cutting may be hidden by hobbies such as carpentry, fishing, sports, and crafts where cuts and abrasions can be shrugged off as casual. Where cold weather can conceal skin condition, nurses should urge patients to change into a gown for evaluation. Many doctors who skip the full-body evaluation can miss the signs and symptoms of cutting right under their nose.

Cutters are trying to treat their emotional pain. The individual will start to experiment and transfer feelings of emotional pain to a physically concrete manifestation of cuts, bruises, lesions, in areas not regularly seen by others. This is regularly in the lower arms and forearms, which can be hidden by long sleeved clothing. The individual will withdraw from normal social activity if it reveals their cutting scars or lesions.

Therapy for cutting involves multiple disciplines. Treatment involves  confronting the cutter in a safe space and  from their caregivong usually takes the form of two tiers of treatment. Skin cuts are treated for infection and bandaged, and mild painkiller is prescribed. Psychiatric examination and counseling make up the other part of treating cutters.

It would seem that those in metaphorical pain would avoid seeking actual pain. Yet for many this is bringing their pain into the open. Wound care nurses should be wary of patients who pick at scabs or worsen wounds and lesions between dressings.   Yet the exhilaration and catharsis of the cutting ritual allows the individual to achieve emotional release from psychological pressure. Cutters can form bonds with website friends online part of the cutting world.

Cutting is usually done by persons who feel helpless to control important aspects of their lives. Cutting is generally a shameful secret they hide. Cutters should not be condemned, but take in recommending the case for treatment. Friends should report this to a doctor or physician for further investigation.

Signs and symptoms of self-injury may include dermal scars that can be seen in those who have been practicing the self-abuse of cutting for some time. Referrals to the appropriate speciaist are encouraged.

Cutters may distinguish themselves by having sharp objects like pins, knives, switchblades, or razors on hand. They may be seen to wear long sleeves on their arms  and long pants unseasonably in hot weather. Cutters often exhibit difficulties in having close friends near, or holding long-term friendships or have difficulties in interpersonal relationships. The intimacy and familiarity required in these relationships make it difficult for the cutter to hide the cutting habit.

The habit of cutting may become a compulsion for some , one they wish to hide. Conditions in the cutter’s life may lead them to question their existence and voice thoughts of hopelessness or confusion. Stressful life events such as loss of a loved one, decline in social contacts,and new changes in negative life experience may signal a potential for cutting.

The patient or individual will mull over questions about his or her personal identity, such as “Who am I?”, “Where am I going?,  “What am I doing here?” They may exhibit panic and confusion when confronted with obstacles.  Nurses should be alerted to patients with pronounced skin conditions and the above mentioned problems.

Patients involved in cutting behaviors will experience behavioral and emotional instability, such as uncontrolled crying or mood extremes.  Cuters may ecperience problems with impulse control, and be subject to violence aggressiveness or other taboo behaviors. Cutters form a new routine, replacing the chaotic unpredictability of their problems with the “control” of the cutting instigation.

There may be a detectable change in patients, from an external viewpoint. . A patient who usually goes out for a walk or shops with friends and suddenly elects to stay in or avoid phone calls may be a patient considering cutting or performing the cutting practice as a way of coping. The cutter’s disorder is marked acute when the individual finds solace or relief in cutting.

Nurses should discuss with the charge nurse, roommate, staff nurses and social if they have overheard the patient make statements of helplessness, hopelessness or worthlessness. Futility and despair are the emotional hallmarks of a cutter. Intervention is only possible if the caregiver or nurse steps in and speak up.

Pyoderma Gangrenosum

Pyoderma Gangrenosum is a serious condition of the skin commonly denoted by cellulitis, ulcerous lesions, or wounds. Daily or weekly dressings are required as well as frequent I.V. infusions to combat secondary infections.
Pyoderma Gangrenosum is an exclusive diagnosis. This is unfortunate, as it leads many temporary and urgent care physicians to bypass the seriousness of the damage by referring to the lesions as ulcers, skin tears, and other superficial tissue damage events to the dermis and subdermis. Pyoderma Gangrenosum lesions are characterized by erosion of healthy via an enlarging or group of lesions. As the skin and nerves deteriorate the intense and the copious drainage make the patient’s life difficult.
Pyoderma Gangrenosum treatment plans require an extraordinary commitment of resources, supplies, nursing hours, consult dates, I.V. PICC line insertion, and even hospital stays or Emergency Room visits. The consult visits can become highly technical and a patient with Pyoderma Gangrenosum is well served to obtain a client advocate to meet their needs.
While Pyoderma Gangrenosum does present a flat-edged, wide-lesion wound area similar to some kinds of bed sores, they are much more infectious and extremely susceptible to Sepsis, C. differens infections and contagious MRSA infections. Pyoderma Gangrenosum patients should observe the best possible hygiene and infection control standards possible. Powdered, sterile, and/or Latex-free gloves must be worn by physicians and consultants present at an examination of the wounds or during any wrapping or re-wrapping of the wounds.
General advice given to patients with Pyoderma Gangrenosum is to diet, lose weight, exercise, and elevate the legs if the affected area is in bilateral lower extremities. Daily or twice daily dressing changes may be ordered as the drainage demands. Because the drainage causes the periwound to succumb to ongoing maceration, when the patient feels the bandages fill with liquid, they must report this to the nurse for a wound care session. Nurses must grow accustomed to checking in with the patient about how the wounds are draining and when another dressing is due. Such patients should be monitored for pain to allow direct contact with the wounds at the scheduled wound care time.

Gloves should be worn by all nursing staff during dressing changes, and even by the patient. Washing and shaving of the skin in the periwound may be necessary. Bathing should only take place immediately before a scheduled dressing change to preserve best standards of infection control.
During the wound care dressing change session, light bathing of the periwound skin can be conducted before placement of sterile topical gels and creams. For the heated skin symptom that often accompanies Pyoderma Gangrenosum, Silvadene silver cream has been shown effective to soothe the extreme pain present at the wound sites.
Because of the erosion of skin and nerve tissue during infection, a regimen of nerve pain medication is advised. Baclofen or Neurontin may be part of a 24 hour cycle of pain medication. NSAID therapy can also be used to lessen potential dependence on PRN opiate painkillers. As the Pyoderma improves or the skin infection conditions worsen, this regimen may need to be adjusted.
Pre-medication may be required for dressing changes when nerve and tissue damage has been severe. The pre-medication order should be arranged by the debridement doctor, the consulting physician, or the patient’s Primary Care Provider. Perspiration through hair follicles draws bacteria into the skin. Shaving and bathing of patients should be coordinated with nursing aides or personal residence staff accordingly.
Any situation where total cleanliness of the wound dressing area and sterility of medications is not present should be reported to the wound care team or the charge nurse immediately.
Although the Pyoderma lesions may present as what some nurses might consider mere “Pressure ulcers” that is not what they are.

Pyoderma Gangrenosum is not “gangrene”, as more ignorant members of the medical field are slow to grasp. Instead the Latin term refers to the spread of the immune disease through the tissues. Pyoderma can often be co-existent with systemic infections such as respiratory tract infections, colitis, cystic acne, and sepsis.
Treatment of Pyoderma Gangrenosum is a multipartite, multilayer effort best done with cooperation of the primary care provider, dermatologist, infectious disease specialist, vascular surgeon, and wound care team. The more sophisticated physicians in metropolitan and urban areas will have the experience treating pyoderma.
The systemic approach to ridding the body of pyoderma gangrenosum is to introduce as many cycles of antibiotic therapy as possible. Identifying the treatment method and material to be used is best done using blood tests and wound culture analyses from the affected lesions.The concurrent treatment for extreme site pain, nerve pain, and control of blood sugars must keep time with the infectious disease treatment.
A typical treatment therapy might be Vancomycin and Doripanem via intravenuous infusion, Bactrim
daily as oral antibiotic, and topical treatment of the skin lesions using the complementary spectrum of hydrogels as appropriate.Other nedications may be assigned as they register in sensitivity to the bacteria from the lab culture.
Sometimes Doxycycline or Cyclosporine is used to treat the Pyoderma condition. A key part of any treatment plan for a systemic condition of Pyoderma Gangrenosum is Prednisone. This use of a steroidal supplement can functiom to arrest the immune system disorder that causes the Pyodermic lesions to erupt. While an initial dose of Prednisone therapy can effectively battle back the worst of new lesions forming, the ongoing struggle to keep blood sugar low continues. Without controlled blood sugar, infection treatments will have
The would culture lab result will point the wound care team in the right direction concerning the effective treatment plan and schedule for wound care changes. One new and trending treatment is Tacrolimus to temper swelling and infection control. New studies have shown that Tacrolimus mixed with the Hydrogel Mupirocin retain highly effective resistance to pseudomonas, a common secondary infection.
Because Pyoderma starts as a lesion with no origin, many physicians and nurses speculate about the patient having contracted Pyoderma Gangrensum through contact
with pets or other animals. Dogs, for example, have been diagnosed with Pyoderma Gangrenosum. Due to the very high probability of bacteria contagion, victims of Pyoderma Gangrenosum cannot live with pets and expect any certain degree of recovery.
It requires a well-educated and proactive physician set to envision and implement a care plan for this disrase. The therapeutic relief of Pyoderma Gangrenosum. needs a patient and consistent evaluator of the effectiveness of current therapies. The patient may not always be ready to hear that a certain medication, device, or treatment is no longer working. In some cases a patient suffering from Pyoderma Gangrenosum will be referred to an amputation and limb preservation clinic for evaluation.