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AbstractKnowledge of clinically and cost-effective wound management is an obvious requirement for surgeons, yet wound care education rarely features within the medical curriculum. As a result surgical trainees are often poorly placed to join in multidisciplinary wound management and may feel threatened when asked to manage wound complications. A vast range of dressing products exists yet robust evidence of the function and effectiveness of individual products is often lacking. An understanding of wound pathophysiology, a defined treatment goal and regular wound assessment combined with knowledge of basic wound dressing categories will provide guidance on product selection for different clinical situations and wound types.
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CitationVowden K and Vowden P (2017) Wound dressings: principles and practice. Surgery (Oxford). 35(9): 489-494.
Link to publisher’s versionhttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.mpsur.2017.06.005
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Wound dressings: principles and practiceVowden, Kath; Vowden, Peter (2014)Knowledge of clinically and cost-effective wound management is an obvious requirement for surgeons, yet wound care education rarely features within the medical curriculum. As a result surgical trainees are often poorly placed to join in multidisciplinary wound management and may feel threatened when asked to manage wound complications. A vast range of dressing products exists yet robust evidence of the function and effectiveness of individual products is often lacking. An understanding of wound pathophysiology, a defined treatment goal and regular wound assessment combined with knowledge of basic wound dressing categories will provide guidance on product selection for different clinical situations and wound types.
A new methodology for costing wound careHarding, K.; Posnett, J.; Vowden, Kath (2013)Increasing pressure on health care budgets highlights the need for clinicians to understand the true costs of wound care, in order to be able to defend services against indiscriminate cost cutting. Our aim was to develop and test a straightforward method of measuring treatment costs, which is feasible in routine practice. The method was tested in a prospective study of leg ulcer patients attending three specialist clinics in the UK. A set of ulcer-related health state descriptors were defined on the basis that they represented distinct and clinically relevant descriptions of wound condition ['healed', 'progressing'; 'static''deteriorating; 'severe' (ulcer with serious complications)]. A standardised data-collection instrument was used to record information for all patients attending the clinic during the study period regarding (i) the health state of the ulcer; (ii) treatment received during the clinic visit and (iii) treatment planned between clinic visits. Information on resource use was used to estimate weekly treatment costs by ulcer state. Information was collected at 827 independent weekly observations from the three study centres. Treatment costs increased markedly with ulcer severity: an ulcer which was 'deteriorating' or 'severe' cost between twice and six times as much per week as an ulcer which was progressing normally towards healing. Higher costs were driven primarily by more frequent clinic visits and by the costs of hospitalisation for ulcers with severe complications. This exercise has demonstrated that the proposed methodology is easy to apply, and produces information which is of value in monitoring healing and in potentially reducing treatment costs.
Health economic burden that wounds impose on the National Health Service in the UKGuest, J.F.; Ayoub, N.; McIlwraith, T.; Uchegbu, I.; Gerrish, A.; Weidlich, D.; Vowden, Kath; Vowden, Peter (2015-12-07)OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence of wounds managed by the UK's National Health Service (NHS) in 2012/2013 and the annual levels of healthcare resource use attributable to their management and corresponding costs. METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort analysis of the records of patients in The Health Improvement Network (THIN) Database. Records of 1000 adult patients who had a wound in 2012/2013 (cases) were randomly selected and matched with 1000 patients with no history of a wound (controls). Patients' characteristics, wound-related health outcomes and all healthcare resource use were quantified and the total NHS cost of patient management was estimated at 2013/2014 prices. RESULTS: Patients' mean age was 69.0 years and 45% were male. 76% of patients presented with a new wound in the study year and 61% of wounds healed during the study year. Nutritional deficiency (OR 0.53; p<0.001) and diabetes (OR 0.65; p<0.001) were independent risk factors for non-healing. There were an estimated 2.2 million wounds managed by the NHS in 2012/2013. Annual levels of resource use attributable to managing these wounds and associated comorbidities included 18.6 million practice nurse visits, 10.9 million community nurse visits, 7.7 million GP visits and 3.4 million hospital outpatient visits. The annual NHS cost of managing these wounds and associated comorbidities was pound5.3 billion. This was reduced to between pound5.1 and pound4.5 billion after adjusting for comorbidities. CONCLUSIONS: Real world evidence highlights wound management is predominantly a nurse-led discipline. Approximately 30% of wounds lacked a differential diagnosis, indicative of practical difficulties experienced by non-specialist clinicians. Wounds impose a substantial health economic burden on the UK's NHS, comparable to that of managing obesity ( pound5.0 billion). Clinical and economic benefits could accrue from improved systems of care and an increased awareness of the impact that wounds impose on patients and the NHS.