Indexed on: 23 Oct '20Published on: 22 Oct '20Published in: The international journal of lower extremity wounds
Estimates regarding the prevalence of chronic wounds in the Netherlands vary from 350 000 to 500 000. The cross-sectional multicenter study presented here provides evidence for the incidence and prevalence of wounds and chronic wounds. The primary aim of the present study was to provide evidence for incidence and prevalence of (chronic) wounds outside the hospital. The secondary aim was to optimize the organization for chronic wounds care within our region. From January 2017 until January 2018, information was prospectively collected of patients with new onset of wounds in 2 general practitioner practices to which 19 100 patients are enrolled. For the patients with new onset of wounds the "fast track protocol" was used and outcomes including etiology and wound healing were measured. This protocol included a structured treatment protocol and predetermined triage moments. The Alrijne Wound Centre database 2014 was used as a control group (469 records). The incidence of new onset of wounds was 364/19 100 (1.9%). The prevalence of wounds was 405/19 100 (2.1%). The prevalence of wounds, that is, wounds that did not show a sufficient healing rate after 4 to 6 weeks, was 78/19 100 (0.4%). Time to referral to a wound physician (the triage moment) was 5 weeks versus 19 weeks in 2014 ( < .001). Unnecessary referrals to the hospital was reduced by 17.4% ( = .007). In conclusion, the prevalence of the chronic wounds was 4 per 1000 patients. The use of the "fast track" protocol optimizes wound care, wounds heal faster, and unnecessary referrals decrease significantly.