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Assessment and management of chronic wounds

Jacky Edwards outlines how to understand and treat wounds which won’t heal

The prevalence of chronic wounds is rising, partly due to the increase of longevity in the population but also they can occur in younger people also. Chronic wounds are more prevalent in adults over 65 years, and have a significant burden on both the NHS and the patient. A recent study extrapolated that there are 2.2 million people with wounds in the UK with an overall cost of £5.3 billion of which £3.2 billion was spend on chronic wounds.1

Chronic wounds are described as those that fail to heal within a predicted time frame, they are also known as hard-to-heal, non-healing, recalcitrant, challenging or complex wounds.2 It is thought that during the process of normal healing, there is a balance of healthy proteins and enzymes in the wound that promote healing.

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