Chronic Wounds

A chronic wound is any wound that hasn’t begun healing in two weeks or that hasn’t completely healed in 4 weeks. It could be a wound from a burn, insect bite, or traumatic injury that hasn’t begun to heal within four weeks, or a chronic wound could also be an ulcer.
  • Problem wounds are more common among patients with heart disease anddiabetes and other conditions that affect circulation and inhibit the skin’s ability to heal itself
  • Approximately 18.5 million American have diabetes and of that population, about1.8 million will suffer from a problem wound

There are three kinds of ulcers that are categorized as chronic wounds: diabetic foot ulcers,venous stasis ulcers, and pressure ulcers.

Diabetic Foot Ulcers

  • A diabetic foot ulcer is an open sore or wound that occurs in approximately 15% of patients with diabetes, and is commonly located on the bottom of the foot
  • Diabetic foot ulcers are responsible for most foot and leg amputations in the U.S. (82,000 annually)
  • Early detection and appropriate treatment of these ulcers may prevent up to 85% of amputations


Venous Stasis Ulcers

  • A stasis ulcer is a breakdown of the skin caused by fluid build-up in the skin from poor vein function. Fluid leaks from the veins into skin tissue when the blood backs up rather than returning to the heart through the veins
  • Venous ulcers are located below the knee and are primarily found on the inner part of the leg, just above the ankle
  • Venous ulcers affect 500,000–600,000 people in the U.S. every year and account for 80–90% of all leg ulcers
  • The borders of a venous ulcer are usually irregularly shaped and the surrounding skin is often discolored and swollen. It may even feel warm or hot. The skin may appear shiny and tight, depending on the amount of swelling


Pressure Ulcers

  • Pressure ulcers result from decreased blood flow from prolonged pressure over a bony prominence and commonly form in areas such as ankles, back, elbows, heels, and hips
  • These ulcers typically occur in paralyzed or unconscious patients who are unable to sense the need for repositioning
  • Also known as pressure sores, bedsores, and decubitus ulcers
  • Advanced sores are slow to heal, so early treatment is best


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