This essay is to explore and evaluate the relevance and contribution of venous leg ulcers (VLUs) to nursing practices based on the evidence-based practice concepts. Various aspects of the VLUs development will be covered starting with the epidemiology, understanding its aetiology, pathophysiology and physiology, definitive assessment and management. These are important so as to avoid inappropriate treatment that may cause a delay in wound healing. Various treatment therapies to obtain an insight into efficient wound management and compression therapy practices and prevention of recurrence of VLUs. A VLU may affect an individual in their activities of daily living. For example, experiencing pain, impaired sleep pattern, impaired mobility function, work capacity decline and experiencing financial difficulties. A multidisciplinary approach and effective communication is important for healthcare professionals (HCP) to adopt in order to systematically assess an individual as many factors may lead to VLUs.
“The prevalence of venous ulcers varies between 1.5 and 3% in the population, and in 4–5% of individuals older than 80 years” (Nast et al., 2016, p.5). VLUs are more common among the elderly compared to the young. VLU is the most common type of lower limb ulceration. The diagnosis of VLU involves obtaining a detailed history taking and paying attention to the existence of factors that affect individuals to the development of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). It is important for HCP to distinguish clinical features of CVI from other lower limb ulcers. The important of the assessment of patients with VLU is an evaluation of chronic diseases which may impact on the wound healing process. Therefore, systemic and local factors that may hinder VLU healing need to be investigated and corrected if necessary. Psychosocial issues need to be addressed as well. Nevertheless, investigation procedures are available if the diagnosis is uncertain.
Alavi et al. (2016) found out that VLUs will continue to be a significant burden on the healthcare system due to the aging population, inactive lifestyles, increased prevalence of obesity, and the development of various chronic diseases.
Finlayson, Edwards, and Courtney (2011) stated that CVI encompasses disease of the lower limb veins in which venous return is impaired over a number of years of reflux, obstruction or calf muscle pump failure which causes venous hypertension and leads to edema, eczema, lipodermatosclerosis and ulceration. Ashby et al. (2014) stated that VLU is a breakdown of epidermal and dermal tissue which is an open wound that occurs from below the ankle, up to mid-calf that failed to heal and represents an advanced clinical manifestation of CVI. Finlayson, Edwards, and Courtney (2011) commented that once the diagnosis of venous leg ulceration is made, VLUs often heal in months or even years and it may frequently reoccur. The patient will have a lifetime chronic condition with...