A worldwide concern, venous ulcers are associated with high recurrence rates, a high risk of infection, and a significant financial burden to cure. In order to provide adequate care, healthcare workers must be informed about the underlying causes and pathological aspects of the disease. It is common for patients with venous ulcers to suffer from comorbidities, which contribute to and extend healing durations, which can lead to subsequent complications. Venous insufficiency and venous hypertension are chronic disorders that must be managed for the rest of one’s life. Ulceration is caused by the vicious cycle of venous reflux and blockage that occurs as a result of chronic venous diseases (s). The treatment of venous ulcers must include extensive wound management as well as continuous compression therapy.
Diabetes is a condition that attacks the small arteries and nerves as well as the arteries and nerves that are placed the furthest away from the heart, causing them to become inflamed. As a result, patients with diabetes frequently have a loss of sensation in their toes and feet, a condition known as diabetic neuropathy. Because of this, individuals may be unable to detect the development of a blister, infection, or surgical wound problem. Patients with peripheral arterial disease, cardiopulmonary disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and sleep disorders are among those who need to be evaluated.
Diabetes and neuropathy are two common comorbidities that affect VLUs. Chronic wounds in diabetic people are more likely to heal slowly, resulting in wound chronicity. Increased complications, such as peripheral neuropathy and peripheral arterial disease, are a result of uncontrolled glucose levels in the blood. Neuropathy is a condition that develops as a result of poorly managed glucose levels and results in sensory loss. This raises the likelihood of sustaining trauma-type wounds, experiencing poor healing, becoming infected, having an amputation, or risking death. Blood glucose levels that are out of control can compromise white blood cell activity and raise the risk of infection. Patients with diabetes should be informed of the importance of maintaining targeted blood glucose management in order to improve wound healing.
All of the factors listed above have an impact on blood flow, cellular oxygen supply, and carbon dioxide elimination. The circulatory system must be operating at peak performance in order to transfer oxygenated nutrients to the tissues. When there is insufficient perfusion or when the body is in a hypoxic condition, the tissue begins to deteriorate, and a wound forms. Peripheral arterial disease is a serious condition that can be life-threatening. Minor cuts and scrapes can quickly escalate into a life-threatening situation for a patient with weak arterial flow. The major goal of treatment for patients with arterial ulcers is to determine their level of perfusion. Perfusion must be adequate, or the perfusion must be improving for healing to occur. The ability to give enough oxygen and nutrients to assist the repair and healing process is closely tied to the ability to promote healing and repair.
Other Aspects That Contribute To VLUs
There are a variety of different factors that can contribute to the development of a venous leg ulcer. When formulating treatment plans and goals, it is important to conduct a complete and thorough assessment in order to take these elements into consideration. There are a variety of medical problems that might interfere with the natural wound healing process and must be treated in conjunction with wound care.
Immune System Deficiency
Some medical diseases, such as lupus, can have a negative impact on the body’s ability to fight infection and heal itself. When it comes to fighting infection, the immune system is the body’s natural defense mechanism. Inflammation is influenced by immune weaknesses. The wound healing process is divided into two phases: the proliferative phase and the maturation phase.
Skin gets increasingly brittle as a result of the aging procedure. Because of the slowed inflammatory response, the risk of infection is increased. Chronic illnesses that impede circulation and tissue perfusion are more common in the elderly population than in the younger population. Skin impairments should be checked for and moisturized on a daily basis to ensure consistency in skin monitoring.
Cognitive And Behavioral Health Issues
Patients suffering from dementia, depression, and behavioral and cognitive impairments have a reduced ability to communicate and comply with their own recovery plan of care as a result of these conditions. Patients suffering from major depression and anxiety may find it challenging to keep up with their daily hygiene routines, change their dressings, and attend their wound care clinic appointments.
Malnutrition or inadequate dietary intake can cause wound healing to be slowed or halted. During wound healing, the body works harder than usual and requires up to three times the amount of protein and calories that it would typically consume in a day. Carbohydrate intake and vitamins A, C, and E, zinc, iron, copper, and manganese are all essential in the healing process, as are other nutrients.
Many medical disorders can either be a precursor to the formation of venous leg ulcers or increase the appearance and progression of the condition. The most effective way to achieve positive outcomes is through thorough assessments, education, best practices, and a multidisciplinary approach. Venous ulcer therapy should be approached thoroughly, taking into consideration risk factors and comorbidities.
The views and opinions stated in this blog are exclusively those of the author and do not reflect those of iWound, its affiliates, or partner companies.