This article provides an executive summary of the Lower Extremity Venous Disease (LEVD) evidence-based guideline produced by the WOCN Wound Guidelines Task Force. The target audience for this guideline is health care professionals who specialize in, direct, or provide wound care for patients at risk for or with lower-extremity venous disease. The full guideline opens with an overview of definitions of LEVD, its prevalence, clinical relevance, etiology, related physiology and pathophysiology, and overall management goals for patients at risk for developing venous leg ulcers. A detailed assessment section describes how to conduct a full clinical history and physical examination. Two approaches to interventions are provided: one addresses prevention strategies to reduce the risk of developing LEVD with ulcers. Methods to prevent ulcer recurrence are summarized including compression therapy, adjunctive therapies, medications, and patient education. A second approach presents treatment interventions including wound cleansing, debridement, infection control, antibiotic use, along with management of the periwound skin, nutrition, pain, and edema. This section also discusses limb elevation, surgical options, adjunctive therapies, patient education, and health care provider follow-up. A comprehensive reference list, glossary of terms, and appendices on cellulitis and venous eczema, types of edema, and compression therapy are available at the end of the guideline. This article provides an executive summary of the essential features of the guideline.
Teresa J. Kelechi, PhD, MSN, RN, GCNS-BC, CWCN, FAAN, Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing Charleston, SC.
Jan J. Johnson, MSN, RN, ANP-BC, CWOCN, Duke University Medical Center Durham, NC.
Panel Members' Disclosure
Individuals involved in developing clinical practice guidelines are charged by the WOCN Society to develop guidelines that are objective, comprehensive, and practical. To ensure the integrity of the WOCN Society and the Clinical Practice Guideline Program, prior to participating in any guideline activity, participants submit a Disclosure Form to the WOCN Society regarding any financial relationships with commercial companies that could create a conflict when the company's products or services are related to the subject of the guideline. Members of the guideline panel submitted a Disclosure Form, which was reviewed by the WOCN Executive Director, who determined that no conflict of interest exists with any individual panel member.
No funding source has been identified.