Palliative Wound Care: Less Is More

Surg Clin North Am. 2019 Oct;99(5):899-919. doi: 10.1016/j.suc.2019.06.008. Epub 2019 Aug 5.


Palliative wound care is a philosophy of wound management that prioritizes comfort over healing and attends to the emotional distress these wounds can cause. Intervention strategies focus on management of symptoms such as pain, odor, bleeding, and exudate. Historic treatments such as honey, chlorine, and vinegar have gained renewed interest, and although well suited to the palliative setting, there is an increasing amount of research exploring their efficacy in other contexts. The lived experience of patients and caregivers facing these wounds is often stressful and isolating, and any treatment plan must address these issues along with the physical aspects of care.

Keywords: Malignant wound; Palliative; Pressure ulcer; Radiation wound; Wound care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Debridement
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Palliative Care / methods*
  • Pressure Ulcer / therapy*
  • Radiotherapy / adverse effects
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy*