Nursing in Practice Autumn 2021 (issue 121) - Page 36

36 CLINICAL
Red flags
Acute infection of leg or foot ( eg increasing unilateral redness , swelling , pain , pus , heat ).
Symptoms of sepsis .
Acute or chronic limbthreatening ischaemia .
Supected deep-vein thrombosis ( DVT ). Supected skin cancer .
Treat infection . Immediately escalate .
For people in the last few weeks of life , seek input from their other clinicians .

Ten top tips on lower limb wounds

1

Act

2

Provide
on red flags When a patient presents with a wound on the lower limb , assess for ‘ red flags ’. 1 These will require immediate attention from the relevant specialist , in accordance with local pathways . It is important you familiarise yourselves with these .
immediate skin and wound care Cleanse the wound bed , wound edges and the surrounding skin . It is important to encourage the patient to maintain good hygiene of both the leg and foot ( especially between the toes ) to reduce the risk of infection . Regular application of an emollient will hydrate and protect the skin .
Leg and foot ulcers
A leg ulcer originates above the dotted line
A foot ulcer orginates below the dotted line
SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY / GETTY nursinginpractice . com Autumn 2021