Assessment and management of older people with venous leg ulcers
Marie Todd Lymphoedema clinical nurse specialist, Specialist Lymphoedema Clinic, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Glasgow, Scotland
A venous leg ulcer (VLU) is defined as the loss of skin below the knee on the leg or foot in the presence of venous disease, which takes more than two weeks to heal. The prevalence of VLUs is increasing, especially in older people, which will increase the demand for nursing care. Development of a lower leg ulcer should trigger immediate assessment of risk factors for chronic venous disease followed by action to identify the cause and initiate treatment, which should prevent progression to more complex and chronic problems. Justification for choice of appropriate wound management and application of compression therapy should be based on the assessment and diagnosis.
Management of patients with VLUs can be cyclical and lifelong, which highlights the importance of helping patients to understand the rationale for management strategies so that cooperation in self-care is achieved.
Nursing Older People. 30, 5,39-48. doi: 10.7748/nop.2018.e1004Correspondence
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