Care of Patients with Leg Ulcers: A Nursing Perspective: Nursing care of leg ulcers in geriatric patients requires knowledge of pathology leading to ulcers, ulcer assessment, and optimal treatment.


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Abstract

Care of patients with leg ulcers is challenging as well as rewarding. Recent advances in scientific knowledge about healing should be incorporated in the nursing care of leg ulcer patients. This article provides an update on the state of the science in the care of leg ulcers in geriatric patients, and focuses on assessment and local care of such ulcers. Ulcer assessment provides the basis for selecting therapies to maximize healing. Wound cleansing and appropriate dressings are essential to good patient outcomes. Furthermore, healing is enhanced when these interventions are combined with strategies that maximize oxygen to the ulcer, promote appropriate levels of activity, optimize perfusion through physiological positioning, and reduce mechanical shear through selection of proper footwear. Care of patients with leg ulcers provides the nurse an opportunity to apply pathophysiology, utilize scientific data, and function as an integral player on the wound care team.

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