Tailoring GP management to suit chronic wounds
A holistic and individualised approach is required when managing this potentially burdensome condition
Need to know:
- Chronic wounds impose significant physical, psychosocial and economic burdens.
- These wounds fail to progress through orderly phases of repair, and are stuck in an inflammatory state that impedes proliferation.
- Chronic wounds contain a biofilm of colonising bacteria which alters host immune responses and perpetuates inflammation.
- The differential diagnoses for causes are broad. Always consider and review the clinical picture to determine whether further investigation for underlying causes is indicated.
- Consider the goal of treatment, and whether the aim is cure or symptom control, and tailor management and expectations accordingly.
- Most chronic wound management must take into account the health of the wound bed, the advancing epithelium and the skin surrounding the wound.
- Manage associated oedema, dependency and exudate to promote healing and prevent recurrence.