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Ostomy Wound Manage. 2003 Jun;49(6):27-8, 30, 33 passim, contd.

Intact skin--an integrity not to be lost.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Toronto.


Maintaining skin integrity can be challenging but it is vital to overall health, particularly in elderly patients. In this population, skin integrity is frequently compromised as a result of under- or over-hydration, which may cause serious complications. Plans of care must include preventive efforts such as the use of barriers and protectants including zinc oxide preparations, petrolatum- and silicone-based ointments and creams, liquid-forming products, adhesive dressings, fluid managers, skin cleansers, and moisturizers. A team approach that includes the patient, caregivers, and healthcare professionals is needed to address patient concerns regarding independence/dependence, utilization of support systems and services, pain, and control of body fluids. The healthcare provider's role in this team should emphasize continuity of care, patient satisfaction, and product selection - all vital to protecting skin integrity.

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