Wounds Australia, the peak body for wound care and management, is highlighting the risk factors and warning signs of chronic wounds during Wound Awareness Week 2021 in a bid to tackle the nation’s ‘hidden epidemic’.
Wound Awareness Week, an annual campaign to improve awareness of chronic wounds and influence wound management and policy, runs from 23-29 August. This year’s theme, ‘The solution is bleeding obvious’, focuses on the impacts health professionals, decision-makers, and the general public can make to address chronic wounds.
The awareness week includes free webinars covering topics such as hard-to-heal wounds and the truths and myths about wound care.
Inventor of ‘spray on skin’ and 2005 Australian of the Year Professor Fiona Wood, who is leading the Wound Awareness Week 2021 activities, says the challenges of chronic wounds are significant but not insurmountable.
“Every year, over 420,000 Australians suffer from a chronic wound,” Professor Wood says.
“Treatment for chronic wounds adds more than $3 billion to annual state and federal budgets. They cost unknown millions in lost economic activity. Sufferers face individual out of pocket costs: thousands of dollars each year.
“Chronic wounds also damage mental health. They stop people from working, studying and enjoying the lifestyle others take for granted.”
This year’s Wound Awareness Week will focus on three streams of activity.
The first is a public awareness campaign highlighting risk factors, warning signs, and educating people on how they can heal wounds by seeking treatment. The second involves engaging with healthcare and aged care workers to improve their skills and enhance the treatment their patients receive. Lastly, the awareness week will lobby governments to implement reforms developed by wound care experts that will slash costs and patient numbers.
This week, Wounds Australia will launch an 11-point plan that delivers a blueprint for enhancing health and aged care through the cooperation of government and healthcare professionals.
“Wound Awareness Week has always been important, but it takes on a new dimension this year as Wounds Australia showcases its solutions to problems unearthed by the Aged Care Royal Commission and the shortcomings of national coordination exposed by the coronavirus pandemic,” Professor Wood says.
For more information on Wound Awareness Week 2021 and this year’s activities visit woundaware.com.au