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Journal of Community Nursing (JCN) | April 2021

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Identifying and managing chronic oedema: a patient journey

Identifying and managing chronic oedema: a patient journey
Wound Care

Pages: 38 - 43

Article topics: Care pathway, Cellulitus, Chronic oedema, Lymphorrhoea, Patient story

Awareness of the incidence of chronic oedema in the UK, and the consequences of inadequate management has grown over the last 10 years. Moffatt et al (2019) identified that over 50% of patients cared for by community nurses had an element of chronic oedema. A failure to identify and manage chronic oedema can result in the disease progressing to more advanced stages, which are more costly for patients and healthcare services to manage (Wound Care People, 2019). This article tells the story of Anne and her journey with chronic oedema. Her story exposes many inadequacies ranging from prevention to diagnosis, management, and prevention of harm. These culminated in a hospital admission and lengthy rehabilitation calculated to have cost in the region of £35,000. The use of an evidence-based care pathway is advocated and the potential impact which its use might have had for Anne at a number stages in her journey are explored. The combination of Anne’s story, and the financial analysis of the outcome and other potential outcomes had a care pathway been followed, make a powerful argument for change.

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