Venous Insufficiency

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By the WoundSource Editors

Before the mid-1990s, venous disorders and disease were classified almost solely on clinical appearance, which failed to achieve diagnostic precision or reproducible treatment results. In response to this, the American Venous Forum developed a classification system in 1994, which was revised in 2004. This classification system has gained widespread acceptance across the clinical and medical research communities, and most published papers now use all or part of the CEAP system (defined in the next section). This system was once again updated in 2020.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture
Venous Leg Ulcer Complications

by the WoundSource Editors

Venous leg ulcers (VLUs) are difficult to treat, and when they are present a variety of complications may arise. These complications can be challenging to treat and may often contribute to the prolonged healing times resulting from chronicity found with many VLUs. Further, if the condition of the ulcer deteriorates, it may worsen any complication already present or serve as the catalyst for the development of complications.

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Venous Leg Ulcer

by the WoundSource Editors

A venous leg ulcer (VLU) is caused by vein disease that primarily affects older adults. As a prevalent problem among older patients, providing care for individuals with VLUs is time-consuming and costly. The direct costs vary from country to country, with reporting numbers of €800 monthly in Germany. Statistics report $2,500 monthly in the United States per patient, and given the chronic nature of VLUs, the cumulative costs per patient increase rapidly.

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by the WoundSource Editors

Enzymatic debridement: The use of a prescribed topical agent that can chemically liquefy necrotic tissue with enzymes. It is often less painful but can be more expensive than other forms of debridement.

Gaiter area: The area on the leg that extends from just above the ankle to below the knee.

Hypertension: Abnormally high blood pressure. Venous hypertension describes the existence of high pressure in the veins of the legs.

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Laurie Swezey's picture
superficial venous insufficiency ulcer

By Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

Lower extremity venous insufficiency ulcers represent approximately 80% of the leg ulcers typically seen in wound care facilities. The following statistics help to bring home the seriousness and chronicity of this common health problem:

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Laurie Swezey's picture

By Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

This article is designed to provide a review of cellulitis, an infection affecting the skin which can be life-threatening if not treated.

Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine's picture

By Bradley W. Lind and James McGuire DPM, PT, CPed, FAPWHc

Venous leg ulcers are a type of lower extremity wound complicated by excess fluid production, periwound edema, and high bioload produced by venous insufficiency often leading to secondary lymphedema. The Coban™ 2 Layer Compression Therapy System, created by 3M Health Care, was designed to achieve sustained therapeutic compression, while improving the ease of application, and reducing slippage of the dressing during wear. The reduction in layers of the dressing also allows the patient to wear their own footwear and avoid the purchase of a surgical shoe.

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Bruce Ruben's picture

by Bruce E. Ruben MD

Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) refers to a long-term condition where the veins inside the legs have lost their ability to move blood back up to the heart from the legs. This occurs because the vein walls have weakened to the point where the venous pumps are no longer sufficient enough to send blood back up, against gravity, to the heart. CVI also affects the tiny valves inside the leg veins. When these valves do not close sufficiently, blood seeps back down past the valves and pools in the lower legs.

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Laurie Swezey's picture

By Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

Compression therapy is the “gold standard” for the treatment of venous ulcers. However, compression therapy is not a one-size-fits-all treatment and the clinician must decide on the right type of compression therapy for the individual client in order to prevent complications from occurring, such as ischemia and necrosis.

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