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Wound Awareness Week 2019 - Are You Wound Aware?


What is Wound Awareness Week all about?

Wound Awareness Week is raising awareness of chronic wounds across Australia.  This year’s theme “Let’s Talk About Wounds” encourages people to start a conversation with their health professionals about hard to heal wounds. It is important that the community at large can identify the wound warning signs (pain, fluid, smell, over 30 days to heal), know who is most at risk from chronic wounds, and what action to take if they have a wound that won’t heal.

Why is it important to have awareness around this issue?

Chronic wounds are a ‘hidden affliction’ that are alarmingly common. With around half a million people suffering with a chronic wound, treating chronic wounds costs the health system $3billion annually.   People over 65 years are more at risk of having a chronic wound, and with our population getting older, chronic wounds are a growing problem.  However, with the current lack of awareness, many people don’t access the treatment they need, and they suffer from their wound for much longer than they have to.

 

 

Around half a million Australians suffer with a chronic wound. A chronic wound is one that is hard to heal. These include pressure injuries, venous leg ulcers and diabetes related foot ulcers. Some people have these wounds for weeks and months, or if untreated, they can suffer for years. Older people and those with chronic diseases such as diabetes and vascular disease are more likely to have a wound that is hard to heal.

Chronic wounds lead to physical and health complications, social and emotional issues and financial costs for sufferers and their families.

Physical and health complications. Sufferers are often in constant pain, have their mobility reduced and are predisposed to a number of potential complications. These may include wound infection, both at the site and throughout the whole body, which can result in cellulitis, constant pain, amputation or even death.

Social and emotional issues. People with a chronic wound are predisposed to mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety that has resulted from social isolation, changes to body image, and decreased quality of life.

Financial costs of chronic wounds. Chronic wounds cost Australia almost $3 billion a year in hospital and residential care alone. People with a chronic wound also face considerable out of pocket costs for treatment, wound dressing products and medications. For the individual, research has shown the cost of wound products to be between $86 and $340 per month, with some chronic wounds taking months to heal. Unfortunately these costs are often borne by people receiving the aged or disability pension, or those with a reduced income due to an inability to return to work.

Wound Awareness Week 2019 - Are You Wound Aware?