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Chronic wounds-including pressure ulcers, vascular ulcers, and diabetic ulcers-are a serious health concern. Millions of Americans are affected each year, with total cost of their care reaching the billions of dollars. Even after a wound has healed, which may take years for some patients, the chance of recurrence is high. Venous ulcers, for example, have recurrence rates approaching 70%.


Management of patients with wounds can present a considerable challenge for several reasons: (1) the lack of an evidence-based model of care; (2) the explosion of products used to treat wounds; (3) the lack of a common language for describing and documenting wounds; and (4) the superficial nature of education on skin and wound care in medical and nursing schools.


It is important, therefore, for skin and wound care practitioners to be able to turn to credible, authoritative sources of information on skin and wound management. Advances in Skin & Wound Care is now entering its 18th year of successfully providing this essential information to practitioners.


In 2005, Advances in Skin & Wound Care will again provide peer-reviewed continuing education articles for its readers on a regular basis. Research done by the journal's editorial staff indicates that practitioners are interested in earning continuing education credits this way. These articles allow practitioners access to a distance learning opportunity-an optimal educational model for busy practitioners-that will assist them in understanding the core of wound management.


Richard "Sal" Salcido, MD, the journal's Editor-in-Chief, is an acknowledged authority on wound management, as is the journal's Clinical Consultant, Cathy Thomas Hess, BSN, RN, CWOCN, and its Consulting Editor, Elizabeth Ayello, PhD, RN, APRN, BC, CWOCN, FAPWCA, FAAN. They will work with the journal's expert Editorial Advisory Board to select papers for the continuing education activity. These papers will focus on synthesizing existing research and accepted practice standards into key recommendations for day-to-day management of patients with wounds.


In addition, each year the journal's editorial staff will conduct surveys of the journal's readership and of attendees at the Clinical Symposium on Advances in Skin & Wound Care to determine topics of interest for future issues. The most recent surveys indicate an interest in angiogenesis and wound healing, differential diagnosis of leg ulcers, and off-loading. Searches of the current literature will also be done periodically. The results of the surveys and the literature searches will be shared with Dr Salcido, Ms Hess, Dr Ayello, and the board to assist them in topic selection and to ensure that the journal is meeting the informational needs of its readership.