Treating patients with venous leg ulcers in the acute setting: part 1.

Authors: Anderson I


Br J Nurs. 2017 Jun 22;26(12):S32-S41

Leg ulcers present with a variety of aetiologies, sometimes in combination. The most common aetiology is venous, with treament involving compression, elevation and exercise; the most common treatment setting is the community. However, people with leg ulcers do sometimes require admission to hospital for conditions and situations which may, or may not, be ulcer-related. There is a lack of contemporary evidence on the experience of inpatients and insufficient analysis of the impact on healing and complications to the lower limb when patients with leg ulcers and compression therapy are admitted to hospital. Admission to hospital presents an ideal opportunity for a focus on leg care and potentially enhancing healing rates of patients. The reality for patients with venous leg ulceration being treated with compression therapy is that this does not continue if they are admitted to hospital as inpatients-having been interrupted for MRSA screening and skin assessment, often no-one is available to reinstate the therapy. This article highlights key issues in the ongoing care of these patients and offers suggestions for basic management until a more acceptable and evidence-based solution can be found. Part 2 will deal with the preparation for discharge and options for the treatment of patients who are not already in the care of community services.



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