1. Ayello, Elizabeth A. PhD, RN, APRN,BC, CWOCN, FAPWCA, FAAN
  2. Sibbald, R. Gary MD, BSc, MD, FRCPC (Med) (Derm), FAPWCA, MEd

Article Content

Most of us have been in the position, at least once, of wondering if a patient's wound would ever heal. Treating acute and chronic wounds is an ongoing challenge for health care professionals in all corners of the world. For some clinicians trying to heal wounds, the grass may seem greener on the other side of the globe. Social, economic, and technologic differences can create a vast divide in the global approaches to wound care.


However, clinicians are united on one front: Preventing and optimally treating wounds can be a difficult task. At times, it may seem that the solution to a wound care problem is beyond our reach. Those are the times when networking with wound care colleagues around the globe and reviewing a succinct summary of the current evidence can provide a helpful framework of learning from one another.


Whether working in a small hospital in India or a large facility in New York, we all share common factors in our struggle to prevent and to heal wounds. Our message to clinicians worldwide is this: You do not have to do this alone. We believe it is important to give voice to stories from the global wound care village. As a global community of wound care specialists, we need to share our insights, data, and awareness of common wound care concerns and solutions. When we do this, we can build new initiatives to advance wound care practices and to improve patient outcomes globally.


Advances in Skin & Wound Care is taking a first step in this direction. In this issue, we present the first installment of a new department called World Union Reports. This department will feature inspiring stories from the global wound care village that illustrate improvisation in action. This month's article discusses diabetic foot offloading practices being used in India. Watch for articles from other members of the global wound care village in upcoming issues of the journal.


Around the Globe

In addition to facilitating the global exchange of ideas presented in the World Union Reports department, the authors of this Guest Editorial are collecting the literature from international wound care communities into collective knowledge through the World Union of Wound Healing Societies (WUWHS). The organization's international position statements offer another educational initiative to help provide guidance for important health care issues. For example, clinicians may find it helpful to review best practices found in the document on "Minimising Pain at Wound Dressing-Related Procedures-A Consensus Document of the WUWHS" (


For those who are unaware of the WUWHS, it is a large network of wound healing societies that orchestrates a major worldwide meeting every 4 years. The first meeting in September 2000 was held in Melbourne, Australia. Dr Michael Stacey and Geoff Sussman organized the meeting. The July 2004 second WUWHS meeting was facilitated by Drs Luc Teot and Sylvie Maume in Paris, France. The successful meeting was attended by 6000 wound healing professionals from 40 societies around the world. The next meeting will be held on June 4 to 8, 2008, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.

The authors of this Guest Editorial are leading the next meeting. Dr Sibbald is the meeting chairperson and President-Elect of the WUWHS, Dr Ayello is one of the meeting co-chairpersons. The other co-chairperson is Heather Orsted from Calgary, Canada. The Toronto meeting marks the first time that nurses have held the co-chairperson positions. Drs Sibbald and Ayello and Ms Orsted are part of the current WUWHS executive committee, which includes Luc Teot, MD, President, France; Sylvie Meaume, MD, Secretary, France; Michael Stacey, MD, Immediate Past President, Australia; and Mieke Flour, MD, and Rosine Van den Buick, MD, Co-Treasurers, Belgium.


Mission Possible

The mission of the World Union is to enhance the life of people with wounds worldwide. Our objectives to accomplish this mission include:


* Contribute to the improvement of wound care standards for patients and health care professionals' performance and facilitate universal access for patients in all health care systems.


* Educate all health care professionals in the interprofessional team approaches that deliver best practices for improved patient outcomes.


* Disseminate the educational and training toolkits or resources in practical, relevant, and adaptable formats to meet the local needs of developed, developing, and emerging health care systems.


* Appraise and organize the evidence base to encourage best practices to optimize patient care.


* Coordinate a worldwide exchange of information among wound care societies and other relevant stakeholders, including regional, national, international, and global agencies.



The official logo of the 2008 WUWHS meeting represents the global wound care villages being supported by the caring hands of all health care providers. At the upcoming world meeting, the primary goal will be to analyze the wound care evidence base and transfer the knowledge, skills, and attitudes for improved patient outcomes. This will be accomplished through a 5-day meeting including a preconference day, 5 plenary sessions, and 10 breakout time slots with more than 100 educational sessions. A complex Web site with 150 chat groups will collect the wound care evidence base on major topics in a concise format. The evidence will be arranged into a broad range of streams, or topic sections, for the meeting (Table 1).

Table 1 - Click to enlarge in new windowTable 1. WUWHS STREAMS

It takes a well-rounded team of organizers to plan a conference of this magnitude. The University of Toronto is leading this effort, with an educational and evidence base expertise that is crucial to the infrastructure of the congress. Planning of the third WUWHS Congress is supported by the congress executive committee, the hosting societies, and the industry and association sponsors. Section chairpersons of the executive committee include Geoff Sussman, Education, Australia; Keith Harding, Industry Liaison, Wales; George Cherry, Developing World, United Kingdom; Greg Schultz, Research, United States; Finn Gottrup, Organizations, Denmark; and Rai Mani, Editing, United Kingdom.


To date, there are 4 North American wound care associations that are designated as hosting societies. They are the Canadian Association of Wound Care (CAWC), the Canadian Association of Enterostomal Therapy (CAET), the American Professional Wound Care Association (APWCA), and the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) and partners. The APWCA will be coordinating the diabetic ulcer stream; the pressure ulcer stream will be under the auspices of the NPUAP.


Several manufacturers with an emphasis on worldwide wound care have shown their support. The list of platinum sponsors includes Smith & Nephew, ConvaTec, HEALTHPOINT Ltd, KCI Medical Inc, Molnlycke Health Care, and 3M Health.


Attendees of the third WUWHS Congress will receive an evidence base summary for each of the key streams at the meeting. Calls for abstracts and posters will be announced in Advances in Skin & Wound Care in the coming months. This cutting-edge congress promises to provide global insights and cooperative efforts to improve wound care worldwide.


We hope to see you in Toronto.