Overview of Chronic Wounds
Chronic non-healing wounds affect millions of patients each year and contribute significantly to their morbidity and mortality. These wounds have a substantial impact because of their economic burden and the significant effect on the reduction in quality of life, as well as the increased risk of death for those patients affected by them. A 2014 study of Medicare data showed that chronic non-healing wounds and associated complications affect nearly 15% or 8.2 million Medicare beneficiaries. The study also estimated the cost to treat these wounds at between $28.1 billion and $31.7 billion annually. The highest costs were associated with infected or reopened surgical wounds, and outpatient care had the highest site-of-service costs. In addition to being older, most of these patients have obesity and diabetes. Underlying causes often include diabetic foot ulcers, venous leg ulcers, arterial insufficiency, and pressure ulcers. The list of complications contributing not only to chronicity but also to further deterioration is quite lengthy.
Specific Wound Healing Complications and Interventions
The prevalence of chronic wounds and their complications has not been well documented in the literature. However underappreciated they may be, the complications associated with chronic wounds increase the cost—both financial and personal—to the individuals with these wounds.Although not an all-inclusive list, some of the more common complications include infection, tissue necrosis and gangrene, periwound dermatitis, periwound edema, osteomyelitis, hematomas, and dehiscence. Our purpose is to discuss the presentation of each and potential interventions … read more