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Outcomes of Conventional Wound Treatment in a Comprehensive Wound Center

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Conventional wound care is the elementary treatment modality for treating chronic wounds. However, early treatment with topical growth factors may be needed for a subset of chronic wounds that fail to heal with good wound care alone. A prospective nonrandomized case series from a single-community outpatient wound care clinic is presented here in an effort to identify the subset of chronic wounds that may require early adjuvant intervention. There were 378 consecutive patients with 774 chronic wounds of varying etiology. All patients received 4 weeks of conventional wound care, including weekly debridement and twice-daily dressing changes. Wounds not reduced by 50 per cent volume at 4 weeks were nonrandomly treated with human skin equivalent (Apligraf┬«), platelet-derived wound healing factor, or platelet-derived growth factor isoform BB (becaplermin gel, Regranex┬«). A total of 601 of 774 (78%) wounds healed regardless of treatment type. The median time to heal for all wounds was 49 days (interquartile range = 26–93). More women than men healed (85% vs 71%, respectively, P < 0.0001). Diabetic wounds were as likely to heal as nondiabetic wounds (78% vs 80%, P = 0.5675). Wounds that did not heal had larger volumes and higher grade compared with wounds that healed (P < 0.0001 for both variables). The data presented here show that the majority of chronic wounds will heal with conventional wound care, regardless of etiology. Large wounds with higher grades are less responsive to conventional wound care and will benefit from topical growth factor treatment early in the treatment course.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: From the Department of General Surgery, Huntington Memorial Hospital, Pasadena, California and 2: Methodist Hospital Wound Healing Center, Arcadia, California 3: From the Department of General Surgery, Huntington Memorial Hospital, Pasadena, California and, Methodist Hospital Wound Healing Center, Arcadia, California

Publication date: 01 April 2006

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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