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Australian Journal of Pharmacy : October 2006
professional pharmacy professional updates Staking a claim in a scarless future A USTRALIA is at the forefront of pioneering wound management technology, according to a new report, A scarless future: The wound care update paper 2006, commissioned by Johnson and Johnson, makers of the Band-Aid brand. The paper follows on from another report, The proper treatment of wounds and ways to minimise scarring, which was pub- lished in 2003 and explores the significant advances that have occurred in wound care since then. Key achievements highlighted in the paper include: research into foetal scar- ring, which is bringing researchers closer to scarless healing; research into manag- ing the cost of effective wound treatment; new technology that has provided an alternative to manual wound debride- ment; and silicone dressings which mod- ify scar behaviour. Also featured in the paper was a call for more education and information sharing about woundcare throughout the health- care system and the public. The contrib- utors believed that healthcare profession- Geoff Sussman: Pharmacists can play a vital role in wound care but need to be trained als, particularly pharmacists at the front line of minor wound management, need access to the latest information to ensure best patient outcomes. Pharmacist Geoff Sussman, director of the Wound Foundation of Australia at Monash University and chairman of the Education Commission of the World Union of Wound Healing Societies, con- tributed to the report and said that an ongoing focus on woundcare was critical due the ageing population and the rise in diabetes. ‘Pressure wounds in aged care facilities and wounds associated with diabetes will continue to place a growing strain on our health system. The need to ensure cost- effective wound care, through accurate diagnosis and treatment at all levels of the healthcare system, has become para- mount.’ Mr Sussman told the AJP that people with diabetes had a five-fold risk of infec- tion and it was important for pharmacists to teach their customers with diabetes how to look after themselves, including daily foot examinations to identify even the smallest sign of a wound, such as tin- nea. He said that wound care was not ‘owned’ by any one health profession and was a terrific example of a condition that needed a multi-disciplinary approach. ‘Pharmacists can play a vital role but need to be trained. Hopefully the Gov- ernment will acknowledge this and ulti- mately, some time down the track, will remunerate pharmacies for delivering wound care services to the community,’ Mr Sussman said. He also believed it would be useful to align the training received by medicine and pharmacy students to further encour- age the multi-disciplinary approach. ¦ Pharmacy tackles depression T HE Pharmacy Guild and beyond- blue, the national depression initia- tive, have joined forces and launched a pharmacy-specific resource aimed at raising awareness of depression. Distributed to pharmacies in Victoria in the lead-up to Mental Health Week (from 8 October 2006), the compact fly- ers provide pharmacies with a tool to encourage patients to find out more about depression via their doctor, other health professional or by contacting the beyond- blue information line 1300 22 4636 or website—www.beyondblue.org.au. Victorian President of the Pharmacy Guild Dipak Sanghvi said he was pleased pharmacies could once again position themselves as key frontline health providers and provide patients with the necessary information that will encourage them to take their first step to either help themselves, or someone they know, who may be suffering from this common con- dition. ‘With one in five Australians experi- encing depression at some point in their lifetime, it is essential that as health prac- titioners, we are aware of the resources available and appropriately refer patients needing help or advice. ‘The resource builds on what we do each day: counsel and refer patients to a realm of healthcare providers with the specialist skills to help them,’ Mr Sanghvi said. Beyondblue CEO Leonie Young was 20 ? THE AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACY VOL 87 OCTOBER 2006 delighted with the involvement of com- munity pharmacists and the enthusiasm shown so far. ‘Pharmacists are among the most easily accessible healthcare providers and are ideal to assist in raising the awareness of depression. ‘We are very pleased to partner with pharmacists, to help get the message out in an accessible way,’ she said. Mr Sanghvi reminded pharmacists that the resource did not aim to turn pharma- cists into mental health experts. ‘It pro- vides an option to assist patients in taking action and guiding them to the medical assistance or general advice they need to help themselves or someone close to them,’ Mr Sanghvi said. ¦