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Do I Need Advanced Wound Care?

Advanced wound care treats chronic, non-healing wounds that could affect your quality of life. While some wounds can be easily treated with first aid and ointments, others can be far more serious and may need medical attention.

When is a Wound Considered “Chronic”?

Wounds that do not heal within three weeks are often considered chronic, non-healing wounds. Chronic wounds that aren’t treated properly can lead to serious complications.

“Being aware of and monitoring any wounds that you might have can greatly reduce your risk of amputation,” says Colby Holmes, DPM, St. Claire HealthCare Podiatrist/Foot Surgeon.

You should contact your doctor if your wound:

  • Shows signs of infection, such as redness, drainage, swelling, change in color, fever, or increased pain.
  • Hasn’t begun to heal within two weeks.
  • Isn’t completely healed within four weeks.
  • Has healed, but reopens again.

Who is at Risk of Being Affected By A Non-Healing Wound?

There are many factors that can increase a person’s risk of developing a chronic wound, including their age, dietary habits, and any underlying medical conditions they may have. Patients with cardiac health issues are more susceptible to having poor blood supply, making it more difficult for certain wounds to heal. Patients dealing with diabetes have poor circulation, slowing the healing process, as well.

“If a wound begins to show signs of infection, it’s time to talk with your doctor,” says Dr. Holmes. “This is especially true if you have an underlying medical condition.”

Twenty-five percent of patients with diabetes will develop at least one foot ulcer within their lifetime. These ulcers are caused by high blood sugar, poor circulation, immune system issues, nerve damage, and infection, and can be difficult to treat if care is postponed.

Other individuals at risk for developing a chronic wound include, but are not limited to:

  • Cancer Survivors
  • Veterans
  • Readmitted Patients
  • Surgical Patients

What are the Risks of Non-Healing Wounds?

Caring for and treating your chronic, non-healing wound is critical due to the risk of infection, amputation, and other complications. Eighty percent of diabetic-related amputations are caused by a foot ulcer.

“Diabetic patients can decrease their risk of lower-limb amputation by simply improving their foot care,” says Dr. Holmes.

Underlying health conditions can prohibit the proper healing of wounds, therefore many result in needing specialized care to prevent an increased risk of further complications.

How Can St. Claire HealthCare’s Advanced Wound Care Team Help?

St. Claire HealthCare’s team of specialized healthcare providers, nurses, therapists, and other medical professionals offer treatment options that are specific to your individual needs to prevent and treat non-healing wounds, such as:

  • Foot or leg ulcers as a result of diabetes or poor circulation
  • Surgical wounds
  • Radiation therapy skin reactions
  • Trauma wounds or burns
  • Any other problematic non-healing wound

Advanced wound care products and treatments accelerate healing while maximizing patient comfort throughout treatment. We offer the latest therapeutic methods in wound management, such as:

  • Transcutaneous oxygen and other diagnostic testing to evaluate wound healing potential
  • Vascular assessment
  • Nutritional assessment
  • Patient, family, and caregiver education
  • Specialized wound dressings
  • Compression and lymphedema therapy
  • Topical and antibiotic therapy
  • Wound vac therapy
  • Growth factor therapy and skin substitute application

Schedule an appointment with our Advanced Wound Care team by calling 606.780.5500, or visit www.st-claire.org/appointment.