Compression therapy is a key area of lower limb wound management that has been identified as an area of care requiring a unified approach between wound care professionals and pharmacy teams (Ousey et al, 2021).
Compression therapy is considered the gold-standard treatment for lower limb ulcers, which are a growing concern – with approximately 1.5% of the adult population in the UK affected by active leg and foot ulceration (NWCSP, 2020). The National Wound Care Strategy Programme (NWCSP, 2020) lower limb stream has stated that compression therapy is a vital consideration in all lower limb wounds unless specific red flags are present, and that all those presenting with a lower limb wound should receive compression therapy as soon as possible.
A multidisciplinary team (MDT) approach is needed to ensure that compression therapy is provided as soon as possible and that opportunities to provide care are optimised, to improve healing outcomes. Pharmacy teams are often ideally placed to play a key role in this approach, and to use their skills to make initial assessments in order to provide appropriate care or refer the individual on to a specialist where required.
In February 2021, Wounds UK published a consensus document providing guidelines to pharmacy teams dealing with wound care (Ousey et al, 2021). The expert group involved in the consensus meeting identified compression as an area that would benefit from specific guidance and information for pharmacy teams. Therefore, a similar group met again in August 2021 to develop guidance for pharmacy teams regarding lower limb wounds and compression, resulting in this consensus document.
This document aims to:
- Provide an overview of lower limb wounds and compression therapy
- Enable pharmacy teams to deal confidently with lower limb wounds
- Facilitate appropriate prescribing of compression treatments.