Wound care is an important issue in community care, and the pressure to provide quality wound care is increasing as acute care facilities try to reduce the length of hospital stays. In Canada, recent studies have found a high prevalence of chronic wounds in the community. The wound types with the highest prevalence rates were pressure ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, non-healing surgical wounds and leg ulcers. A 2007 study assessed 16,079 home care clients across Canada and found that 50.3% of clients had wounds. The most common wounds reported were open surgical incisions and stage I pressure ulcers, followed by closed surgical incisions (McIsaac 2007). A review of the literature on chronic wounds in Canada found the prevalence of pressure ulcers to be 15.1% and the average costs of healing $27,500 (Woodbury and Houghton 2004). Leg ulcers are estimated to affect 60,000 Canadians (Campbell et al. 2006), while diabetic foot ulcers are estimated to affect 15% of patients with diabetes (approximately 210,000 Canadians) at some point in their life, with 14–24% of these patients requiring amputation. The financial implications are significant as costs associated with amputations are approximately $1.5 billion (Campbell et al. 2006).
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