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How could you assess the impact of venous leg ulceration on a patient's quality of life?

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  • Article: Developments in venous leg ulcer management. Nursing Times; 107: 35, early online publication.
  • Author: Irene Anderson is senior lecturer, tissue viability, University of Hertfordshire; Susan Knight is Queen’s nurse and tissue viability specialist nurse, Milton Keynes Community Health.

Key points

  • Leg ulcers are complex wounds and should be managed by skilled practitioners
  • Factors such as age, obesity and co-morbidity can affect the effectiveness of treatment
  • A better understanding of the benefits of different compression materials is needed
  • Surgery may be appropriate for some patients
  • Quality of life is an important issue and patients’ needs should be taken into account

Let’s discuss

  • What is the role of obesity in the development of venous leg ulcers?
  • How could you assess the impact of venous leg ulceration on a patient’s quality of life?
  • What training and education do you think you need to manage venous leg ulcers effectively? When should you refer patients to a specialist service?
  • Outline why is compression therapy used to treat venous leg ulcers?

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