Most healthcare providers recognize that management of lower extremity wounds presents a difficult challenge. These chronic wounds significantly impact the quality of life for individuals and have implications for costs and utilization of healthcare resources. Lower extremity wounds can be due to a myriad of different diseases, but the primary causes are chronic venous insufficiency, lower extremity arterial disease, and diabetes/neuropathy. Differential assessment is necessary prior to implementation of management strategies in order to address the etiology and pathogenesis factors that are related to each type of leg wound. This article presents an overview of the risk and predisposing factors for venous, arterial, and diabetic/neuropathic wounds. Additionally, it addresses issues of differential assessment including typical locations, common clinical characteristics, typical wound appearance, key management issues, considerations for alternative treatments, collaborative care, and patient/family education.
Wound Care| November 01 2003
Assessment and Management of Patients With Venous, Arterial, and Diabetic/Neuropathic Lower Extremity Wounds
Phyllis A. Bonham, RN, MSN, CWOCN
From the Medical University of South Carolina, College of Nursing, Charleston.
Reprint requests to: Phyllis A. Bonham, RN, MSN, CWOCN, 3247 Seaborn Dr, Mt Pleasant, SC 29466 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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AACN Adv Crit Care (2003) 14 (4): 442–456.
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Phyllis A. Bonham; Assessment and Management of Patients With Venous, Arterial, and Diabetic/Neuropathic Lower Extremity Wounds. AACN Adv Crit Care 1 November 2003; 14 (4): 442–456. doi:
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