Treating Chronic and Acute Wounds With Warming: Review of the Science and Practice Implications

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Systemic and local warming of tissue produces physiologic and cellular responses in the local wound environment conducive to wound healing. The use of warming to treat wounds is not a new idea, but the ability to deliver warming with controlled temperatures and conditions is a recent development. This article reviews basic science and clinical studies of active systemic and local warming and the reported effects on wound physiology, healing, and rate of infection in chronic and acute wounds. Twelve clinical studies evaluating active warming were identified. Existing data demonstrate improved healing outcomes and infection reduction associated with active warming therapy. Practical implications of using active warming therapy, including appropriate wound types and settings, obtaining product, guidelines for administering therapy, patient teaching, and cost-benefit information, are discussed.

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