Wound care nurse Abeltje Schmidt has been providing wound care and expertise at the Máxima Center since October 2020: ‘I visit all children who have a wound, dermatitis or other kind of skin lesion. I look at how we can improve the wound and close it as quickly as possible, and check to see that a child has as little pain as possible. A special band aid with which a child can take a shower or continue to move and play is a basic but very important solution!’
‘The most frequent problem is Incontinence Associated Dermatitis (IAD), followed by decubitus. Children with cancer often lose weight, as a result of which they are relatively thin. Or they are too ill to move properly in bed. If they stay in the same position in bed for too long, they will develop decubitus ulcers. I also see a lot of infected wounds. In general, wounds in children treated for cancer do not heal as well. If a wound becomes cleaner, smaller or - even better! - closes completely, then I am satisfied. Most of all, of course, I hope that a child has less pain or forgets for a moment that it has a wound,’ says Abeltje.
Prevention is better than the cure, she says. ‘It is important to first consider the cause. Why does a wound develop? And then we need to tackle that cause. I always advise people to move as much as they can and eat as healthily as possible. A child with a wound loses a lot of protein through wound fluid, while they need extra proteins for healing. So we always recommend eating extra proteins. An anti-decubitus mattress also helps in the prevention and healing of bedsores (decubitus ulcers). These are also available at the Máxima Center.’