A wound is defined as any damage or break in the surface of the skin.
Wounds generally fall into two categories:
- Acute wounds such as surgical incisions, lacerations, skin tears and burns; and,
- Chronic wounds such as leg ulcers, neuropathic ulcers, pressure injuries and malignant wounds.
There are some wounds that occur due to underlying medical conditions, pyoderma gangrenosum is an example. Some skin conditions may also develop into a wound.
Wounds, particularly chronic wounds, have been identified as a significant health, social and economic burden. Over 450,000 Australians annually live with a chronic wound, the estimated cost of which is over $2.5B.
Our ageing population, the increasing incidence of diabetes, cardiovascular and renal diseases, road trauma, general increase in surgical procedures and dermatological conditions such as scabies, also impacts significantly on the number and type of wounds in our rural, remote and metropolitan communities across Australia.