Wound healing is a complex and dynamic process of replacing devitalized and missing cellular structures and tissue layers.
A chronic wound is one that has failed to progress through the phases of healing and has shown no significant progress toward healing in 5 weeks. Types of chronic wounds may include, but are not limited to the following etiologies: venous ulcers, diabetic ulcers, and pressure ulcers.
Venous ulcers – ulcus cruris occur primarily in the legs of patients and are caused by problems with blood circulation due to dysfunctional blood valves or obstructed veins.
Diabetic ulcers often start as small scratches or bruises which patients with diabetes fail to notice due to nerve damage and limited sensitivity. Compromised immune systems and damaged capillaries lead to these formerly small and benign wounds becoming dangerously infected.
Pressure ulcers - ulcus decubitalis primarily afflict patients who are bedridden or of limited mobility. The constant pressure on the tissue over powers the pressure of the capillaries, affecting blood flow. Areas at the greatest risk for pressure ulcers are the sacrum, shoulder blades and heels. Correctly identifying the cause of a chronic wound as well as the local and systemic factors that may be contributing to poor wound healing is critical to successful wound treatment.