Standard, Appropriate, and Advanced Care and Medical-Legal Considerations: Part Two -- Venous Ulcerations

William J. Ennis, DO, MBA, FACOS, Patricio Meneses, PhD

Disclosures

Wounds. 2003;15(4) 

In This Article

Background

Accurate prevalence information is difficult to obtain because the diagnosis of venous disease is so imprecise.[19] Two and a half million people in the United States have venous ulcers resulting in two million lost work days at a cost of two to four billion dollars for treatment.[20] The problem will continue to escalate, as 20 percent of the US population will be over the age of 65 by the year 2010.[20] There is a 62-percent predominance of women suffering from venous ulcers, many of which have had their ulcers for greater than one year.[21] The literature states that only 50 to 60 percent of venous ulcers will heal within six months of therapy.[22,23] Leg ulcers can have a major impact on quality of life in addition to the clinical and cost implications. Researchers have recently validated a quality-of-life measuring tool specifically for venous ulcers.[24] It has been reported that patients with leg ulcers suffer from a decreased quality of life.[25] As a result of this, recent therapeutic advances for venous wounds have now incorporated quality-of-life measurements as part of the overall therapeutic outcomes data.[26]

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