Compression wraps for venous ulcer healing: a review.
Compression to the lower extremities is used to increase healing of venous stasis ulcers by improving the blood supply and reducing edema and distension. Compression wraps are available in elastic or non-elastic and in single to multilayer systems requiring varying types of application and exerting different levels of compression. Elimination of edema is so basic and important to venous ulcer healing that the most effective level of compression should be used. Controversy exists regarding the most effective sub-bandage pressure (ranging from 20 mm Hg to 45 mm Hg) for timely healing. Because of differences in compression wraps, selection of the most effective and efficient wrap can be difficult. The purpose of this integrated review was to determine healing rates of venous ulcers with various wraps. The studies reviewed provide reasonable evidence that venous ulcers can be healed with the use of compression wraps and that various wraps are effective when used with correct assessment, application, and fit by the caregiver, along with compliance and mobility of the patient.