Saint Agnes Hospital

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African Americans at Greater Risk for Chronic Wounds

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Saint Agnes Hospital’s Wound Care Center® offers preventative tips during Black History Month
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The Wound Care Center at Saint Agnes provides specialized treatment for chronic or non-healing wounds.

02/11/2014

Baltimore, Md. – The Centers for Disease Control reports that African Americans are more than twice as likely to have a foot or leg amputated due to diabetes than non-Hispanic whites.

In recognition of Black History Month, the health care experts at Saint Agnes Hospital’s Wound Care Center, a member of the Healogics™ network, are raising awareness of measures that can help reduce the risk of underlying conditions for chronic wounds in African Americans.

“Saint Agnes is focused on improving the lives of the people in the communities we serve and our patient-centered Wound Care Center allows us to do just that,” said Karl Mech, Medical Director for the Center. “With such a large African American patient community, we are dedicated to constantly educating our patients and helping prevent and cure diseases and conditions that can lead to chronic wounds such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease.”

Be informed: Twice as many African American adults are diagnosed with diabetes by a doctor and they are twice as likely to die from the disease as compared to non-Hispanic whites. Talk to your doctor about your family history and other risk factors.

Feet first: Only 65 percent of African Americans with diabetes ages 40 and older had a foot examination in 2008. It is especially important for diabetics to perform foot inspections daily and have their feet examined at least once a year by their healthcare provider.

Step it up: African Americans are 70 percent less likely to engage in regular physical activity as non-Hispanic whites. Exercise and physical activity can lead to better circulation, and improving the flow of oxygen to wounds is an important factor in healing.

Go slow: Extra pounds can worsen conditions that hinder wound healing and more than half of all African American women over the age of 20 are categorized as obese while 38 percent of African American men of the same age fall into this group. Pay attention to portion sizes. Filling half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables and dividing the other half equally between protein and starchy vegetables allows you to eat foods you like while maintaining healthy portions.
 
Bring it down: Approximately 38 percent of African American men and 44 percent of African American women have hypertension. Help control your blood pressure by setting aside “me” time every day to stop multi-tasking and relax even if it is just taking a long bath, enjoying a favorite television show or listening to calming music.
 
Put it out: While cigarette smoking has declined, nearly one in four African American men smoke compared to 18 percent of African American women. Smoking can lead to hardening of the arteries and higher glucose and cholesterol levels in the blood.
 
Have it looked at: Seek treatment if a wound has not healed in 30 days or shows signs of infection such as an increase in pain, redness or swelling, foul wound odor or a change in color or amount of drainage from the wound.
 
The Wound Care Center at Saint Agnes provides specialized treatment for chronic or non-healing wounds and employs a rigorous scientific approach to explore, test, find and develop the clinically proven methods and technologies, which reintroduce the body’s innate ability to heal. The Center uses a multidisciplinary model of care, state-of-the-art technologies, including Hyperbaric Chambers, and thorough evaluations to develop a customized treatment plan to best suit each patient’s needs.
 
For more information on the treatment of chronic or infected wounds, contact the Wound Care Center located at Saint Agnes Hospital – 900 Caton Avenue in Baltimore, Maryland at 410-368-2370.
 
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About Saint Agnes Hospital
Founded by the Daughters of Charity in 1862, Saint Agnes Hospital is a 276-bed hospital recently completed a $200 million-plus expansion emphasizing patient safety in a high quality healthcare environment. Saint Agnes is the oldest Catholic hospital in Baltimore, Maryland and is a full-service teaching hospital with residency programs in medicine and surgery. The hospital’s key institutes include the: Cancer Institute; Cardiovascular Institute; Maryland Metabolic Institute; Orthopaedic & Spine Institute; Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery; and The Bunting Health Institute for Women & Children. Saint Agnes opened the first Chest Pain ED in the world more than 30 years ago, and continues to expand and grow its Emergency Services. www.stagnes.org

About Healogics, Inc. 
Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., Healogics is the nation’s largest provider of advanced wound care services. Healogics and its affiliated companies manage more than 500 Wound Care Centers® in the nation and see nearly 200,000 patients per year through a connected network of centers, partner hospitals, academic medical centers, patients and families.  Leveraging its scale and experience, Healogics utilizes an evidence-based systematic approach to chronic wound healing in treating an underserved and growing patient population.  For more information, please visit www.healogics.com or to find a Wound Care Center near you, please call 1-800-373-HEAL (4325).
 

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