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Journal of Community Nursing (JCN) | August 2020

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Inappropriate use of diuretics and antibiotics for wet or ‘leaky’ legs

Inappropriate use of diuretics and antibiotics for wet or ‘leaky’ legs
Wound Care

Article topics: Wound Care

Chronic oedema is a common condition which is increasing in prevalence, yet is still often under-recognised and mismanaged in community settings. Any oedema is a sign that the venous and lymphatic systems are not working properly. Without early identification and intervention, the condition can worsen, resulting in the need for complex care. Using a case history, this article highlights the inappropriate and ineffective use of medicinal management of a patient with lymphorrhoea (i.e. wet, ‘leaky’ legs). As a result of health assessment and a review of management and medication, deprescribing was effectively implemented in this case. The patient was provided with compression hosiery and education, and supported by a Healthy Legs clinic in the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, with positive outcomes for the patient, treatment room and GP. The case demonstrates how good practice uses health assessment and symptom analysis to determine diagnosis and appropriate treatment options. It also poses the question: is pharmacology always the answer?

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