Wound care research is poor, shows little progress toward advanced treatments, analysis finds

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Research into wound care treatments is generally of poor quality, providing scant evidence of successful new therapies that might replace support stockings as the standard, according to Johns Hopkins researchers.

The lead investigators enlisted a panel of wound care experts to review published papers on treatments for chronic venous leg ulcers. Most relevant studies were of poor quality, and findings were inconclusive about the effectiveness of antibiotics and surgical treatments, they found.

Wound dressings that involve living human cells may improve healing, and cadexomer iodine and collagen also have been shown to potentially improve outcomes, but there still is not enough evidence to say which potential treatments are best, noted Gerald Lazarus, M.D., founder of the Johns Hopkins Wound Healing Center and a professor at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

“There is a critical need for well-designed research studies to compare the current minimally invasive surgical interventions to the gold standard of care, compression therapy,” he said.

Lazarus echoed other experts who recently have called for better wound care research.

The project was funded by a $475,000 grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 

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