oa Wound Healing Southern Africa - Management of venous leg ulcers : vascular surgery
The management of leg ulcers has proven to be a tremendous burden on patients, healthcare practitioners and healthcare resources. The refractory nature of venous ulcers affects the quality of life and work productivity of those persons afflicted. This, in combination with the high costs of long-term therapy, makes venous ulceration a major health problem. The majority of lower limb ulcers are associated with venous disease (80%), but other causes or contributing factors include arterial disease, neuropathy (often due to diabetes), pressure (immobility, obesity), vasculitis, trauma, infections and cutaneous neoplasia. Very little information is available with regards to the estimated cost of the management of venous ulcers in South Africa. The cost of venous leg ulcers is estimated to be $1 billion per year in the United States, and the average cost for one patient over a lifetime exceeds $40 000. In the United Kingdom this cost is estimated at more than £400 000 000 a year. Proper diagnosis and adequate management are vital when caring for patients with venous leg ulcers to promote faster healing and prevent recurrences. By standardising the treatment of patients with venous leg ulcers, the patients could be treated more efficiently and the total cost of treatment, could be reduced.
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