Affecting millions each year, chronic wounds have become a major health challenge around the world, as they are not only making life difficult for a lot of people but they also make treatment a huge burden to both patients and healthcare workers.
Wounds come in different types and are caused by different circumstances like infection, surgical cut, injury, and direct impact.
But while most wounds naturally heal themselves over time, there are some difficult wounds that are very hard to treat and have the most risks for complications and consequences for patients.
Understanding Complex Wounds
A wound is classified as complex under wound care management when it has not shown any signs of healing within three months, it is associated with systemic disorders, infection is already present and there are already manifestations of necrosis, impaired circulation, and superficial tissue damage.
Most of these difficult wounds are related to stage 4 pressure ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers and venous insufficiency ulcers, infected wounds, and those wounds that are not healthy through simple wound care treatments.
The Risk Factors for Difficult Wounds
Complex wounds can be the result of different risk factors, the most common of which include:
Without a proper understanding of the importance of proper wound care management, a lot of patients delay seeing a healthcare professional until their wound is already so worse that they have to seek treatment for it.
Most of the time, infection is already present in these wounds, which prevents healing, and until that infection is addressed, these complex wounds will continue to get worse.
Wound care management is especially difficult for wounds where a lot of skin damage is involved. Burns are very sensitive cases because they require a more aggressive and complete treatment plan.
Patients have to be hospitalized to facilitate the proper administration of systemic antibiotics, regular dressings, and topical treatments. Some burn wounds may also require a skin graft, which requires specialized care.
Chronic wounds are not just the result of a lack of care but they can also stem from co-morbidities that affect their healing.
Chronic wounds become difficult wounds when there are underlying medical conditions like diabetes mellitus, diseases that affect the immune system and blood supply, sustained pressure, moisture and temperature changes in the affected area, previous local tissue injury, and even medications.
These difficult wounds demand proper wound care management from healthcare professionals who know exactly what to do to facilitate wound healing and prevent the occurrence of infections and other complications. But according to experts, prevention is still the best form of medicine for complex wounds.
Since most of these wounds are the result of underlying medical conditions, it’s very important to address them through proper management, lifestyle changes, and extra care in doing day-to-day activities.
Chronic wound care is definitely a challenge, which is why there should be strong teamwork between the patient and the healthcare team to allow for the best prognosis and quality of life after each treatment plan.
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