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J Wound Care. 1999 Jan;8(1):5-10.

Chronic wounds and nursing care.

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  • 1Department of Nursing Research, Uppsala University Hospital, Sweden.

Abstract

This study has collated data on the prevalence of chronic wounds and the demography of patients with these wounds. Diagnostic methods, nursing care, the presence of diabetes and pain are analysed, as well as data on healing, amputation and mortality three months post-study. A total of 694 patients were identified: 406 with leg or foot ulcers, 117 with pressure ulcers and 171 with other wounds. Most patients were treated in the community. Leg ulcer aetiology was verified with ultrasound Doppler examination. There was a correlation between low Norton score (< 20) and severity of pressure ulcer (Stage III or IV). The use of 113 different wound dressings or combinations of products was reported. Time spent on dressing changes was the equivalent of full-time employment for 57 nurses. Wound cleansing was not predominantly performed with tap water, as recommended, but with saline. Almost all patients with venous leg ulcers (88%) were treated with compression but in 35% of these support stockings were used. Pain was present in almost half of all patients, more commonly in Stage III or IV pressure ulcers than in Stages I and II, and was most often reported in older patients. Diabetes was present in 25% of all patients with leg and pressure ulcers, and in 57% of patients with foot ulcers. At three-month follow-up, 28% of pressure ulcers, 40% of leg ulcers and 61% of other wounds had healed. Mortality was 35% in patients with pressure ulcers, 4% in those with leg ulcers and 7% in those with foot ulcers. These data have been presented to politicians in the county, resulting in allocation of resources for a wound healing centre.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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