chronic wound
chro­nic woundSus­an Lemson

Fact #1 – What is a chronic wound?

A chro­nic wound is a wound that deve­lo­ps very slow­ly and remains over a lon­ger peri­od of time. More pre­cise­ly, a wound is deemed “chro­nic” if it does not respond to pro­fes­sio­nal tre­at­ment wit­hin 4 to 12 weeks or show any healing tendency.

Fact #2 – Formation and causes

The chro­nic wound and the rela­ted poor healing of the wound can be traced back to immu­ne sys­tem dise­a­ses, cir­cu­la­to­ry pro­blems or peri­pheral arte­ri­al occlu­si­ve dise­a­se, a so-cal­led ulce­r­a­ted leg (Ulcus Cru­ris). Chro­nic wounds can also result from long-term smo­king or be cau­sed by sugar dise­a­ses like dia­be­tes mel­li­tus. Often, hea­vi­ly bedrid­den pati­ents suf­fer from bedso­res, or decu­bi­tus, which is also clas­si­fied as a chro­nic wound.

Fact #3 – Treatment

Tre­at­ment varies depen­ding on the cau­se of the wound. For examp­le, com­pres­si­on the­ra­py is an inte­gral part of pro­fes­sio­nal tre­at­ment for Ulcus Cru­ris. If this is car­ri­ed out pro­fes­sio­nal­ly and cor­rect­ly, posi­ti­ve results can alrea­dy be obser­ved after a short peri­od of time, for examp­le in the form of oede­ma reduction.

The­re are also various wound dres­sings for trea­ting a chro­nic wound, which have dif­fe­rent effects. Here are some examples:

  • Hydro­gels – The­se are liquid gels which sof­ten the fibrin coa­ting, ther­eby clean­sing the wound.
  • Algi­na­tes – The­se absorb liquid and secre­ti­ons from the wound and clean­se it.
  • Super absor­bers – Even under pres­su­re, the­se can retain lar­ge amounts of water, thus kee­ping the wound dry.
  • Foam dres­sings - Absorb water and secretions.
  • Hydro­col­lo­ids - The­se pro­tect the wound, but absorb litt­le or bare­ly any water.
  • Films – Pro­tect the wound and are transparent.

Fact #4 – Healing process and duration

In some cases, a chro­nic wound can last for several years. For the pati­ents, this means a con­si­derable reduc­tion in qua­li­ty of life – par­ti­cu­lar­ly through sym­ptoms such as chro­nic pain, wet­ness, and a very unplea­sant smell, the pati­ent expe­ri­en­ces a kind of stig­ma, which can also nega­tively impact their men­tal sta­te. The majo­ri­ty of their dai­ly life con­sists of con­stant­ly chan­ging the wound dressing.

Fact #5 – Spreading

In Ger­ma­ny, bet­ween 800,000 and 900,000 peop­le suf­fer from a chro­nic wound. In 2014, 48,000 ampu­ta­ti­ons of feet, lower legs, and lim­bs could be attri­bu­t­ed to chro­nic wounds. In order to coun­ter­act the suf­fe­ring, new methods of tre­at­ment and pos­si­ble the­ra­pies, which would be less cos­t­ly and have bet­ter results, are con­stant­ly being researched.

Unter­ti­tel: When trea­ting a chro­nic wound, com­pres­si­on the­ra­py may be used.

Quel­le: Focus, Apo­the­ken­Um­schau, B. Braun