CIHI: Compromised wounds a prevalent issue

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 55, No. 8, October 2013, Page 365 News

A report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) says that compromised wounds like pressure ulcers and bed sores are a serious problem for the health system. According to the report, 30% of patients in continuing care in a hospital setting had compromised wounds (including surgical wounds not healing as expected) in 2011–2012, as well as 10% of long-term care residents and 7% of home care patients.

According to CIHI, patients with diabetes have double the risk of infection after an operation and an increas-ed likelihood of developing wounds due to poor blood circulation. The study found that one-third of patients with diabe-tes in complex continuing care had a compromised wound, as well as 12% in long-term care and 11% in home care. The study notes that between 49% and 85% of the 2000 foot amputations linked to diabetes in 2011–2012 could have been prevented if proper wound care management had been in place, in addition to education, monitoring, and early treatment.

In order to improve wound prevention and management, the report recommends turning bed-ridden patients fre-quently to prevent pressure ulcers, performing regular foot checkups for diabetic patients, and implementing surgical site infection reduction measures.

In a July 2012 report, the Council of the Federation’s Health Care Innovation Working Group recommended adoption of guidelines prepared by the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario for the assessment and management of foot ulcers for people with diabetes.

The report, entitled “Compromised Wounds in Canada,” can be viewed at

. CIHI: Compromised wounds a prevalent issue . BCMJ, Vol. 55, No. 8, October, 2013, Page(s) 365 - News.

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