Guideline for the management of wounds in patients with lower-extremity venous disease: an executive summary

J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. Nov-Dec 2012;39(6):598-606. doi: 10.1097/WON.0b013e31827179e9.


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.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Leg Ulcer / nursing*
  • Leg Ulcer / therapy*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Stockings, Compression
  • Varicose Ulcer / nursing
  • Wound Healing