The 2019 Charing Cross Symposium (CX; 15–18 April, London, UK) saw the introduction of a new strand of care with the debut of the iWounds Workshop to the exhibition hall. The iWounds Workshop aimed to promote early diagnosis of underlying conditions in leg and foot tissue loss, and interdisciplinary management and collaboration for wound therapy.
Demonstrations are split across three workstreams—interdisciplinary and interprofessional education, early referral, and implementation. Michael Edmonds (London, UK) told Vascular News: “We have had good attendance. There is a wide array of techniques for diagnosis and treatment for various different aetiologies—for diabetic ulcers, venous ulcers and arterial ulcers. The workshops display recent innovations in state-of-the-art wound healing technology and wound care dressings, as well as techniques in debridement and footwear technology.”
The buzz within the iWounds Workshop was all about collaborative working on wound management between disciplines, with demonstrators and attendees alike positive about the potential for the strand to raise awareness of an often overlooked aspect of patient care.
Andy Holman (Medi UK) was demonstrating products that offer debridement and compression solutions. “The value of the iWounds Workshop is that it is interactive; it is more than just looking. We need to unite all the disciplines who look at wounds—tissue viability, podiatry, diabeticians, the whole range of people who are looking at these patients in isolation potentially. What iWounds can do is bring them all together.”
Attending a demonstration, Robert Frykberg (Phoenix, USA) was enthusiastic. “I think it is a great idea,” he told Vascular News. “I am really happy to be here. Wound care and vascular intervention go hand in hand.”
Mike Griffiths (Advanced Oxygen Therapy) was demonstrating a topical wound oxygen therapy at the workshop. “Vascular surgeons deal with wounds a lot. iWounds lets them know about alternatives to healing difficult refractory wounds. It is nice to see a focus on
wounds. Wound care involves everybody from radiologists to infection control specialists to the vascular surgeon, and the iWounds Workshop promotes that.”
Speaking to Vascular News, William Ennis (Chicago, USA), head of the American College of Wound Healing and Tissue Repair and a facilitator at the workshops, said there was potential for showcasing technologies on wound imaging to measure healing pre- and post-bypass, and video live cases based on wound anatomy that could help physicians to decide on revascularisation strategies. He said: “The concept of iWounds is novel and different. You are only taking care of one component of the problem if you focus on the vessel, whether it is the artery or the vein. Twenty-something per cent of those people are going to have some kind of soft tissue injury, and then you have no solution for them, or you just refer them on. It does not mean that [vascular surgeons] are going to physically do [wound care], per se, but it is increasing their knowledge of it. It is about raising awareness.”
Una Adderley, (director of the National Wound Care Strategy, UK) pointed out: “There is a pressing need for a greater focus on implementation of existing evidence-informed guidance. More interdisciplinary working that achieves genuine collaboration between all those who provide care is needed to deliver better outcomes for patients.”
Summing up the iWounds philosophy, Edmonds concluded: “iWounds, through both the formal sessions and the workshops, has very much promoted interdisciplinary care, which CX has always espoused; in a sense, this is a continuation of that tradition. It has promoted the ethos of interdisciplinary care, and enriches one of the traditions of CX.”