Collaborative Approach on Wound Care Improves Patient Outcomes

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Because revascularization and wound care are so closely linked, vascular surgeons and podiatrists can improve patient care when they work together.

That’s the thinking behind a cooperative approach in “Advances in Wound Care and Limb Management,” a postgraduate course set for 2 to 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Vascular Annual Meeting. It is a joint session of the SVS and the American Podiatric Medical Association.

SVS members routinely face the issues of the diabetic foot and subsequent wound care and possible and/or subsequent amputation and rehabilitation. The course will help cover these topics in depth and provide guidance and the latest information.

“Wound care is clearly very prevalent in the vascular community, something we do day to day,” said Dr. Richard Fries, co-moderating the course with Dr. James Christina, DPM, APMA executive director and CEO.

“It’s hard to go a day or two without seeing wound care or amputation issues. We thought a large audience at the Vascular Annual Meeting would find a thorough session on this very appealing.”

Dr. Fries and Dr. William Shutze worked to develop the program with the concentration eventually expanded to include partnering with the APMA. Both surgeons enthusiastically embraced the idea. “It was a logical choice,” said Dr. Fries. “Podiatrists are really the boots on the ground in terms of prevention. They are really the experts at preventative care. And that is something we need to stress to our patients, that good podiatric care will prevent wound progression and other problems.”

APMA plans to emphasize the many factors that must be considered in wound healing including off-loading, the use of biologics and an understanding of the basic principles of wound healing, said Dr. Christina.

“The continued alliance between podiatric physicians and vascular surgeons is especially important in wound healing as no matter what we do as podiatrists, without adequate circulation we cannot get wounds to heal,” he pointed out.

“The important collaborative role between revascularization by vascular surgeons and proper wound care by podiatrists leads to improved outcomes for patients, including reduced hospitalization, increased limb salvage and fewer amputations,” he said. “It is vital that both podiatrists and vascular surgeons recognize the roles that they play in the team approach to caring for wounds and the positive outcomes these have on patients’ lives.”

Course topics include: Avoiding diabetic foot complications, understanding wound healing, how and when to use off-loading to prevent amputation, using advanced wound-care products, wound healing studies, the economics of wound care and limb preservation and indocyanine green angiography and its use in limb preservation.

Prevention, Dr. Fries said, logically leads into surgical options that also are part of the postgrad course. These include: advantages of amputating a non-gangrenous limb; foot and ankle grafts and flaps, advanced amputations and alternative flaps, dressings and temporary prosthesis and use of basic and advanced prosthetics for amputee rehabilitation.

This postgraduate course is part of a concerted outreach to community practice members, who comprise a large proportion of SVS membership, said Dr. Fries. The topic was suggested by the SVS Community Practice Committee as being particularly relevant to private practice physicians. This program, and all others of special interest to that subgroup will be marked as such with a special icon in the program book and other programming materials.

Wednesday, May 31

2 – 5 p.m.

P5: SVS/APMA Joint Session: Advances in Wound Care and Limb Management

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