Indexed on: 03 Feb '12Published on: 03 Feb '12Published in: International Wound Journal
A prospective case series was studied to assess the potential for complete healing of wounds among patients with advanced illness referred to a regional palliative care program in Toronto, Canada. Two hundred and eighty-two patients, of which 148 were primarily diagnosed with cancer and 134 with non cancer advanced illness, were assessed and followed until their deaths. On the baseline initial referral date, 823 wounds were documented. The wound classes assessed included pressure ulcers, malignant wounds, skin tears, venous leg ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers and arterial leg/foot ulcers. Proportions of patients showing complete healing of at least one wound were calculated, stratified by patient's survival time post-baseline (1 week, 1 month, 3 months and 6 months). Proportions of patients showing complete healing of at least one wound increased the longer patients lived and ranged between 12·9% and 43·5% for stage I pressure ulcers, 0% and 60% for stage II pressure ulcers, 2·4% and 100% for skin tears, 10% and 100% for venous leg ulcers and 0% and 50% for diabetic foot ulcers. Only one person showed complete healing of a stage III pressure ulcer and no complete healing was observed with stage IV pressure ulcers, unstageable pressure ulcers, malignant wounds and arterial leg/foot ulcers.