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Acute or Chronic? What's the Difference?

Spear, Marcia DNP, ACNP-BC, CWS, CPSN

Plastic Surgical Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/PSN.0b013e3182965e94
Departments: Wound Care Management

Acute and chronic wounds heal and behave differently. An understanding of these differences is imperative to the practitioner in providing and planning appropriate wound care and management. The purpose of this article is to present some of the major differences and enable the practitioner in developing and modifying an appropriate plan of care to enhance healing and manage patient expectations.

Author Information

Marcia Spear, DNP, ACNP-BC, CWS, CPSN, received her Doctor of Nursing Practice and Master's degrees from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. She is a nurse practitioner, a Certified Plastic Surgical Nurse, and Certified Wound Specialist for the Department of Plastic Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Address correspondence to Marcia Spear, DNP, ACNP-BC, CWS, CPSN, Department of Plastic Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, S-2221, Medical Center North, Nashville, TN 37232 (e-mail:

The author reports no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2013 by American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses