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Wound assessment and treatment in primary care

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Holistic assessment can identify factors that dela Holistic assessment can identify factors that delay wound healing

Advances in wound care therapies are influencing the way wound care is being delivered and also creating an ever evolving understanding of the wound bed, with the identification of multiple micro-organisms existing in the wound bed, in the form of biofilm. However, the focus of wound assessment models in the community remains the same. For example pressure ulcer assessment and management focuses on risk reduction, leg ulcer on differential diagnosis and other assessments on wound bed tissue type. Even though the focus may vary, all models focus on holistic patient assessment not just the wound.

Clinically the patient group has changed over time. They are now presenting with complex wounds as a result of multiple co-morbidities due to longevity and advances in medicine.1 As a result this places a huge demand on the provision of complex wound care in the community; therefore, creating the need for multidisciplinary wound management and thorough patient assessment.

These complexities are coupled with changes to community nursing staffing structures, attributed to retiring staff or changes to roles where practice nurses and healthcare assistants take extra wound care management roles as part of out-of-hospital contracts (OOH). This creates the need to revisit this aspect of community care.2,3

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