Indexed on: 25 Apr '06Published on: 25 Apr '06Published in: Journal of palliative medicine
Pressure ulcers and malignant wounds are prevalent in populations with advanced illness. In these populations, the goals of care may shift from a primary focus on healing to a focus on wound management, palliation and comfort. Many complications associated with these wounds must be palliated.This review explores the palliative approach to managing pressure ulcers and malignant wounds in patients with advanced illness.A comprehensive search of MEDLINE, CINAHL, and Cochrane Databases for articles addressing wound management and palliation was performed. We also reviewed online wound care resources and textbooks related to the field.The key to good wound care is prevention if possible, ongoing wound assessment, correct choice of dressing and use of available adjuvant therapies. The ultimate goals of palliative wound care are to control pain, to manage infection, odor, bleeding, and exudate, and to maintain a good quality of life for the patient and caregiver.