The field of wound care has become a rapidly growing area for providers in recent years. As disease process is examined as to how our population is affected, the impact of diabetes, venous disease, pressure-related wounding and effects of radiation therapy are all concerns for wound care specialists.
A growing field
There is a growing body of knowledge that is critical to understand and apply to affect efficient healing and prevention of wounds. To facilitate this, medical professionals have developed interdisciplinary collaboration devoted to an evidenced-based approach in resolving wounds as they affect out patients. Having concentrated and specific knowledge and practice guidelines gives the wound care clinician the best chance of a healed and lasting outcome.
Wounds that fail to heal through the typical course become problematic. When a wound fails to heal through home-applied remedies, over-the-counter ointments and bandages, they become chronic in nature. The normal healing response becomes altered and cells fail to respond in a normal fashion. An educated wound care provider understands the changes in the healing process to make specific and advanced treatment choices for patients.
Chronic wounds affect approximately 2 percent of the population at a cost that may exceed $50 billion per year. Chronic wounds encompass diabetic foot ulcers, venous leg ulcers and pressure ulcers to name a few. Important in the treatment of any disease is having good and effective treatment.
When chronic wounds are treated according to best practice, the wounds can heal with significantly lower costs and in a significant shorter period of time. Wound care providers who are familiar with best practices and can apply that expertise in treating patients bring great value to care of these chronic wound conditions.
To help those who care for patients with chronic wounds, professional associations have resources on the organizations website. Clinical practice guidelines bring together the best evidence from clinical outcomes and help providers to develop the most effective treatment plan. Wound care experts are also coming together to provide information to patients and caregivers to help them better understand their condition.
Gregory Bohn, M.D., President, Association for the Advancement of Wound Care, [email protected]