Management of chronic wounds remains challenging in terms of prevalence and complexity.
Considerable progress has been made in understanding the science of wound healing during the past decade, sparking volumes of publications and the development of hundreds of dressing and therapy options. There is a need for a simplified overview of evidence-based criteria to assist in the accurate diagnosis and appropriate management of chronic wounds in all care settings.
An expert panel of 11 wound healing specialists experienced in various care settings convened to discuss best practices and recommended guidelines for managing major chronic wound types. Prior to the meeting, panel members reviewed 8 preselected peer-reviewed articles and 1 white paper containing treatment algorithms for all major chronic wound types.
During the meeting, each panelist presented current evidence-based guidelines regarding a specific chronic wound type and case studies to illustrate concepts in the guidelines. This publication is a result of the panel discussion and presents an overview of literature- and experiencebased criteria to help guide chronic wound diagnosis, assessment, treatment, and follow-up.
A cycle of steps is presented as a framework to guide holistic care for all patients with chronic wounds, including dehisced surgical wounds, diabetic foot ulcers, venous leg ulcers, arterial insufficiency ulcers, and pressure ulcers/injuries. Emphasis is placed on criteria to assist accurate diagnosis and dressing/therapy selection, holistic elements of patient and wound bed preparation, interventions to achieve patient adherence to a care plan, and follow-up to help prevent wound recurrence.