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NHS recommends assessment for EPA using diagnostic test to help decide Venous Leg Ulcer treatment

WoundChek Protease Status from Systagenix gets the green light from the NHS as it recommends diagnostic testing for elevated protease activity in venous leg ulcer care - the only test available to do so.

 
PRLog - Mar. 5, 2012 - GATWICK, England: Developed by National Health Service (NHS) commissioners, clinical experts and Department of Health officials and intended to drive improvements in the way in which leg ulcer services deliver care to patients, the recently released service specification(1), intended for use by NHS commissioners, clearly identifies elevated protease activity (EPA) as a complication known to reduce healing rates and increase the duration for wound healing.

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). Sixty per cent of ulcers exist for a period of 6 months or longer (approximately 33% can persist for over a year)(3). In the UK alone, venous leg ulceration has been estimated to cost the NHS between £300 and £600 million per year(4). Early identification of potential healing complications using diagnostic tools, such as WOUNDCHEK™ Protease Status, is critical in facilitating the standardisation of treatment pathways and the cost effective allocation of limited resources.

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.

- ENDS -

Notes to Editors:

1 Implementation Pack for AQP: Venous Leg Ulcers (and the associated wound) Service - http://www.supply2health.nhs.uk/AQPResourceCentre/AQPServ...

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)

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Source:VSPR
Country:United Kingdom
Industry:Health
Tags:Health, NHS, wound care, wound management, WoundChek Protease Status, Systagenix, epa, Elevated Protease Activity, wounds
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