This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Enabling chronic wounds to heal: management of leg ulcers

Written by: | Published:

Many leg ulcers fail to heal because of inadequate assessment and treatment choices

Each year community nurses care for 730 000 people with leg ulcers however 284,700 of these leg ulcers will not have healed within a year.1 This article looks at how nurses can increase healing rates in chronic leg ulcers.

Chronic wounds are defined as wounds that fail to proceed through the normal phases of wound healing in an orderly and timely manner.2 A wound is generally considered chronic if it has failed to heal within 4-6 weeks. Chronic leg ulcers are defined as open lesions between the knee and the ankle that have not healed within 4-6 weeks. Most (around 70%) of leg ulcers occur because of venous insufficiency, arterial ulcers account for about 25% of leg ulcers and around 5% of leg ulcers have both venous and arterial components and are referred to as ulcers of mixed aetiology.3

A chronic venous leg ulcer is ‘an open lesion between the knee and the ankle joint that remains unhealed for at least four weeks and occurs in the presence of venous disease.4

Guest and colleagues review of wounds in primary care found that community nurses care for 1.45 million people with wounds each year. Around 47% of wounds are acute wounds and 53% are chronic wounds. Leg ulcers account for 28% of the community nurses wound care caseload however just over half of all leg ulcers do not have a specified diagnosis.1


Please login or register to read the rest of the article and to have access to downloads and comments.


What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.

Newsletter

Sign up to the newsletter

About

Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.

Archive

Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team

Authors

Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.