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Understanding the basics of wound care in the community setting

The government's policy of moving care closer to home means that not only will community nurses continue to see patients with chronic wounds such as leg ulcers, pressure ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers, they may also start to see an increase in the numbers of patients who have been discharged from hospital with surgical wounds, who might previously have stayed in secondary care for a longer period. It is imperative that community nurses tasked with visiting a range of patients in their own homes have an understanding of the fundamentals of wound development and management to provide basic evidence-based wound care. This article looks at some of those fundamentals, including debridement, dressing application and removal, wound cleansing, infection, and the effects of comorbidities on the wound.