The guidance document recommends identification of venous leg ulcers with EPA using a diagnostic tool, as one of several assessment criteria, for inclusion in a specific care pathway for ‘complex’ venous leg ulcers, distinct from the care pathway recommended for ‘simple’ venous leg ulcers.
The recommendation comes within weeks of the launch of Systagenix’ WOUNDCHEK™ Protease Status, the world’s first and only point-of-care (POC) diagnostic test able to detect EPA in chronic wounds, and forms the first recognition by a national healthcare body of the importance of testing for EPA as part of standard clinical practice.
Leg ulcers are common, affecting approximately 1% of the population worldwide(2)
Lindsay Leg Club chief executive Prof. Michael Clark commented on the expected impact this service specification could have on the way leg ulcers are managed in the NHS in the UK and on the use of WOUNDCHEK™ Protease Status in clinical practice: “It is interesting to see that the Department of Health are considering the use of elevated protease activity as a signpost for the subsequent care of people of venous leg ulcers. The scientific basis of wound healing is rapidly emerging and all steps at translating laboratory results into diagnostic tools and from these the selection of clinical interventions will be welcomed by the tissue viability community.”
With 22 clinics in the UK, the Leg Clubs aim to provide leg ulcer management in a social environment, positively impacting on healing while improving patients' quality of life.
Established in 2008, following the acquisition of Johnson & Johnson’s advanced wound care business, Systagenix is 100% dedicated to wound care, developing and marketing advanced diagnostic and therapeutic systems and supplying over 20 million advanced wound dressings per month into over 100 countries worldwide.
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Notes to Editors:
1 Implementation Pack for AQP: Venous Leg Ulcers (and the associated wound) Service - http://www.supply2health.nhs.uk/
2 European Wound Management Association (EWMA). Position Document. Hard to heal wounds: a holistic approach. MEP Ltd, London 2008.
3 Harrison MB, Graham ID, Friedberg E et al. Regional planning study: assessing the population with leg and foot ulcers. Can. Nurse 97,18-23 (2001).
4 (Bosanquet, 1992: Simon and McCollum, 2004)