Wound cleansing for treating venous leg ulcers

Review objective: To explore the impact of wound cleansing on the healing rate of venous leg ulcers. Leg ulcers are a major health care problem, in terms of treatment, cost, recurrence and chronicity (Posnett and Franks, 2008). Indeed, for venous leg ulcers, with a prevalence of 49,000-1.3 million in the EU 27, the annual associated costs are estimated at 6.5 billion euro (Posnett et al., 2009). While the cost to the individual cannot be measured in monitory terms, it is known that leg ulcers adversely affect the individual, causing social isolation, inability to work, pain, discomfort and frequent visits to hospitals and clinics (Green and Jester, 2010), thereby impacting negatively on health related quality of life. Compression bandaging is the gold standard for the management of venous leg ulceration. However, before application of the compression bandaging, it is essential to prepare the wound bed and wound cleansing is central in achieving this (Hellwell, 1997). While wound cleansing is recommended in many international guidelines, there is confusion surrounding the best method or solution to use. Thus, it is necessary to conduct a systematic review of the literature to identify potential guidance for practice.

Award Date
30 September 2013
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Ms Niamh McLain
Host Institution
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Cochrane Training Fellowships