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BMJ. Dec 5, 1992; 305(6866): 1389–1392.
PMCID: PMC1883915

Community clinics for leg ulcers and impact on healing.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE--To evaluate the effectiveness of community clinics for leg ulcers. DESIGN--All patients with leg ulceration were invited to community clinics that offered treatment developed in a hospital research clinic. Patients without serious arterial disease (Doppler ankle/brachial index > 0.8) were treated with a high compression bandage of four layers. SETTING--Six community clinics held in health centres in Riverside District Health Authority supported by the Charing Cross vascular surgical service. PATIENTS--All patients referred to the community services with leg ulceration, irrespective of cause and duration of ulceration. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Time to complete healing by the life table method. RESULTS--550 ulcerated legs were seen in 475 patients of mean (SD) age 73.8 (11.9) years. There were 477 venous ulcers of median size 4.2 cm2 (range 0.1-117 cm2), 128 being larger than 10 cm2. These ulcers had been present for a median of three months (range one week to 63 years) with 150 present for over one year. Four layer bandaging in the community clinics achieved complete healing in 318 (69%) venous ulcers by 12 weeks and 375 (83%) by 24 weeks. There were 56 patients with an ankle/brachial arterial pressure index < 0.8, indicating arterial disease. The 50 patients with pressure index < 0.8 > 0.5 were treated with reduced compression, and 24 (56%) healed by 12 weeks and 31 (75%) by 24 weeks. The figures for overall healing for all leg ulcers were 351/550 (67%) at 12 weeks and 417/550 (81%) at 24 weeks, compared with only 11/51 (22%) at 12 weeks before the community clinics were set up. CONCLUSIONS--Community clinics for venous ulcers offer an effective means of achieving healing in most patients with leg ulcers.

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Selected References

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