Chronic wounds are a significant burden to patients and the NHS (in the UK in 2008 approximately 200,000 people had chronic wounds). They affect quality of life and can lead to temporary or permanent disability.
Leg ulcers affect 1 in 500 people, and 1 in 50 people over the age of 80. Pressure ulcers affect just under half a million people in the UK; usually people with an underlying health condition. Around 1 in 20 people who are admitted to hospital with an acute illness will develop a pressure ulcer.
Burn wounds cause an estimated hospital admission rate of 0.29 per 1000 cases of burn or smoke inhalation. In the UK, it is estimated that each year about 250,000 people with burn injuries present to primary care teams. Higher rates of burns are seen in children under the age of 5 and older people over the age of 75.