Venous Ulcers

Cheryl Carver's picture
Heart Health

By Cheryl Carver, LPN, WCC, CWCA, CWCP, DAPWCA, FACCWS, CLTC – Wound Educator

With the millions of people living with chronic wounds, there are also millions of people living with cardiovascular disease. Every year, there are approximately 670,000 Americans diagnosed with heart disease. This equals more than one person diagnosed each minute! The skin may be the largest organ, but the heart is most vital in circulating oxygen and nutrient-rich blood throughout your body. A healthy heart is a leading factor in wound healing. Cardiovascular diseases that impede healing include peripheral arterial disease, coronary artery diseases, heart failure, and other heart and vessel issues that can inhibit blood, oxygen, and nutrition in wound healing.

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Venous Leg Ulcer Management Strategies

by the WoundSource Editors

Venous leg ulcers can be painful, cause distress, and affect quality of life, from the weekly wound center visits, multilayer wraps, debridements, compression hose, elevation of legs above the heart, to the odor from heavy exudate.

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Chronic Venous Leg Ulcers

by the WoundSource Editors

Chronic non-healing venous ulcer wounds are an economic burden to the health care system and are the most common type of leg ulcer, affecting around 1% of the population, with 3% of people aged over 80. With obesity and diabetes on the rise, the burden is likely to continue to increase. Lowered quality of life, amputation, and death are often the results of venous leg ulcer chronicity, and the rate of recurrence within three months after wound closure has been reported to be as high as 70%.

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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

Calf muscle pump: Functional result of the calf muscle surrounding the deep venous system and compressing the veins during plantarflexion by contracting the muscle to assist with venous return to the heart.

WoundSource Editors's picture
venous system

A venous ulcer, also known as a stasis ulcer or venous leg ulcer, is a shallow wound that usually occurs on the sides of the lower leg, between the calf and ankle. Since venous ulcers often are slow in healing and frequently recur if not properly treated, it is important for health care providers to understand their diagnosis and treatment.

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wound care journal club

Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine Journal Review Club
Editor's note: This post is part of the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine (TUSPM) journal review club blog series. In each blog post, a TUSPM student will review a journal article relevant to wound management and related topics and provide their evaluation of the clinical research therein.

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