Adv Wound Care (New Rochelle). 2021 Mar 18. doi: 10.1089/wound.2021.0026. Online ahead of print.
SIGNIFICANCE: Chronic wounds impact the quality of life of nearly 2.5% of the total population of the United States and the management of wounds has a significant economic impact on healthcare. Given the aging population, the continued threat of diabetes and obesity worldwide, and the persistent problem of infection, it is expected that chronic wounds will continue to be a substantial clinical, social and economic challenge. In 2020, the COVID pandemic dramatically disrupted healthcare worldwide including in the arena of wound care. A chronic nonhealing wound (CNHW) is typically correlated with comorbidities such as diabetes, vascular deficits, hypertension, and chronic kidney disease. These risk factors make persons with CNHW at high-risk for severe, sometimes lethal outcomes if infected with SARS-CoV2 (pathogen causing COVID-19). The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted several aspects of the wound care continuum including compliance with wound care visits, prompting alternative approaches (use of telemedicine, creation of videos to help with wound dressing changes among others), encouraging a do-it-yourself wound dressing protocol and use of home-made remedies/substitutions. Recent Advances: There is a developing interest in understanding how the social determinants of health impacts the quality of life and outcomes of wound care patients. Furthermore, addressing wound care in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of telemedicine options in the continuum of care.
FUTURE DIRECTIONS: The economic, clinical and social impact of wounds continues to rise and requires appropriate investment and a structured approach to wound care, education and related research.