Chronic Wounds

Thanoon Thabet's picture

Thanoon Thabet, BSN, RN, WTA-C

Chronic wound pain is a complicated condition with both physical and psychological aspects. The magnitude of pain is usually contingent on the depth of the wound and whether an infection is present. Nevertheless, providing adequate pain relief can be challenging due to wound management’s multi-faceted nature. It is essential to understand the physiology of pain, the types, its impact on healing, assessment techniques, and various wound care approaches to develop a comprehensive care plan for patients with wounds.

Holly Hovan's picture


Chronic wounds impact more than 8 million Americans in a multitude of ways ranging from affecting quality of life along to creating a significant economic burden, with the estimated cost of care in the United States currently at 30 billion dollars. As technology and medicine continue to advance, our aging population continues to grow, and those impacted by chronic wounds are likely to increase. This blog will take it back to the basics—using our senses to guide wound assessment and management—while incorporating technology/telemedicine and wound photography to guide treatment and track progress.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

Bioburden: Normally defined as the number of bacteria living on a surface that has not been sterilized. The term is most often used in the context of bioburden testing, also known as microbial limit testing, which is a quality control test performed on medical devices and pharmaceutical products.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

Wound healing typically progresses through four phases: hemostasis, inflammation, cell proliferation or granulation and repair, and epithelialization and remodeling of scar tissue. Clinicians should achieve wound closure through a standardized framework such as the TIMERS (tissue management, infection or inflammation, moisture balance, edge or epithelialization, regeneration, and social factors) tool, which provides a comprehensive approach to wound management and optimizes the wound bed and conditions to support progression of wounds through the healing process.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

Wound healing is a complicated process that restores the skin's barrier function to prevent further damage or infection. The healing process normally progresses through 4 phases: hemostasis, inflammation, proliferation, and remodeling. However, a chronic wound may result when a wound fails to progress through the normal phases of healing.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

The term chronic wound is frequently used when discussing challenges in wound care, and it is widely recognized as a wound state that presents a formidable public health challenge. Although this term has been used since the 1950s to describe wounds that are difficult to heal or those that do not follow the normal healing process, there has been uncertainty since that time about what conditions actually make a wound chronic.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

When a wound fails to progress through the phases of healing in a timely fashion despite the standard of care wound treatment provided, advanced therapies may be warranted. Wound care often needs a multifaceted approach that involves the treatment of entire patient, not just the wound. Clinicians should obtain a comprehensive medical history of the patient and conduct a thorough skin and wound assessment of the patient. This medical history and assessment will lay the foundation of initial treatment.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

Chronic and complex wounds present a formidable challenge in health care. Nonhealing wounds impact approximately 1% of the world's population yet account for more than 2% to 4% of health care expenses. Wounds that require additional clinical efforts often include those that are chronic and resistant to therapy, those with increased risk, and those that reduce the patient's quality of life.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

The management of wounds, especially complex and chronic wounds, is a daunting clinical challenge. Achieving progress toward wound closure often depends on the right selection of treatment modalities for the wound and acknowledgment of any other underlying clinical considerations that present barriers to healing. However, before treatment selection, a full and accurate wound assessment must be completed. Without analyzing all variables that impact wound healing, clinicians may be unable to identify the proper treatment course.

Alex M. Aningalan's picture

Alex M. Aningalan, MSN, RN, CWON, WCC

Chronic wound conditions are prevalent across health care systems globally and often result in economic and humanistic burdens on clinicians and patients.1 Moreover, pressure injuries, among of the more common types of chronic wounds, affect an estimated 2.5 million people in the United States annually, resulting in a staggering 60,000 preventable deaths.2 In addition, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service reported that the United States spends about $9.1 to $11.6 billion annually as payment for the burden imposed by pressure injuries.2