To view and to treat pediatric patients with wounds as though they are but small adults is to ignore the very essence of vulnerability, potential for congenital malformations and the tenacious physiologic complexities which make them unique. The integumentary, physiology, psychomotor, cognitive and psycho-emotional developmental continuum which encompasses “pediatrics” from prematurity to late adolescence bespeaks to the uniqueness of this population, the breadth of knowledge and sensitivity required of clinicians and the armamentarium of treatment approaches needed.
The world of healthcare can be a daunting environment for adults, stripping them of control, invoking fear and even feelings of helplessness. Imagine the infused emotions of parents who must entrust their wounded child into the world of medical technology. As healthcare professionals, with finesse we must impart to frightened families and to their wounded child our sensitivity and humanity, while also possessing technological skill. But how prepared are we to deliver evidenced-based care to wounds of varying etiologies? Are most of our wound care practices not based on an adult model of care, wherein we must compromise by using adult products which are off-label for pediatrics? Regrettably the answer is yes. Even from an epidemiological standpoint chronic ulcers such as pressure ulcers are inadequately captured, as adult data collection tools and methodologies are utilized which ignore the greater than 50% occurrence of medical device related injuries common to the population. Independent of race, ethnicity and social class, acute and chronic wounds, as well as wounds related diseases continue to be the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among children worldwide.
In recent years, Bambino Gesu’ Children’s Hospital in Rome, Italy witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of children admitted with wounds. Pressure ulcers, medical device related injuries, as well as trauma cases have grown exponentially. In response to this rising volume and obvious need for specialized pediatric wound care services, the first Italian Wound Care Pediatric Surgical Center was created. This Wound Care Pediatric Surgical Center provided the enthusiastic impetus for the creation of the 1st International Symposium on Pediatric Wound Care (IPSeW) held in Rome, Italy. This pediatric wound care focused symposium convened multidisciplinary world leaders in pediatric wound care, pediatric plastic, hand, burn, orthopedic, podiatric and general surgery, basic science, clinical research, dermatology, nursing, telemedicine, palliative care, pain management, nutrition, infectious diseases, pharmacists, and academicians for a historic 2.5 day scientific event. This memorable conference held at the Angelicum Congress Center, Pontificia Universitas San Tommaso D’Aquino on October 27-29, 2011 boasted an attendance of 525 attendees representing 23 countries. Ninety presentations were delivered by invited speakers, as well as 20 oral abstracts and 20 scientific posters. This scientific event and the formation of the International Society of Pediatric Wound Care (ISPeW) were organized by three visionary colleagues and friends, Drs. Guido Ciprandi, Marco Romanelli and Corrado Maria Durante.
The goals of the International Society of Pediatric Wound Care (ISPeW) are to:
(1) set global standards for the assessment and treatment of pediatric wounds of varying etiologies;
(2) provide a forum for international, interprofessional collaboration among healthcare professionals, researchers, educators and industry leaders dedicated to the care of pediatric wounds;
(3) promote and support clinical research focused on the prevention, assessment and treatment of pediatric wounds;
(4) collaborate with wound care organizations worldwide on pediatric wound care issues and
(5) provide evidence based pediatric wound care education to healthcare professionals, parents and lay caregivers.
The International Society of Pediatric Wound Care (ISPeW) Board includes Executive Directors: President, Sundeep Keswany, MD (USA) Past President, Guido Ciprandi, MD (Italy); Vice President, Anna-Barbara Schluer, MScN, PhD (Swizerland); Member, Corrado Maria Durante, MD (Italy); Recorder, Giorgio La Scala, MD (Swizerland); Emeritus Robert Kirsner, MD (USA); Treasurer, Amulya Saxena, MD (UK). The ISPeW website is http://www.ispew.org and membership is open to healthcare professionals with an attestable interest in pediatric wound care.
Working together we can elevate the standard of wound care delivered to vulnerable pediatric patients through research, development of age appropriate, skin safe and effective products, education and evidenced based practice guidelines.