What happens if a wound is left untreated?
Associated with inadequate circulation, poorly functioning veins, and immobility, non-healing wounds lead to lower quality of life and may lead to amputations. When wounds persist, a specialized approach is required for healing. Typically, a wound that does not respond to normal medical care within 30 days is considered a problem or chronic wound.
That's where our Wound Care Center can help. With the state-of-the-art treatments available including debridement, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, dressing selection, special shoes, and patient education, people with non-healing and chronic wounds now have a place to turn. The Center uses an multidisciplinary model of care, including infectious-disease management, endocrinologists, podiatrists, physical therapy, occupational therapy, laboratory evaluation, nutritional management, pain management, diabetic education, radiology testing, and debridement to address total patient health. In addition to these comprehensive treatments, the adjunctive use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been proven effective in reducing swelling, fighting infection, and building new blood vessels, ultimately producing healthy tissue.
Chronic wounds: a growing problem
Non-healing wounds of the diabetic foot are considered one of the most significant complications of diabetes, representing a major worldwide medical, social, and economic burden that greatly affects patient quality of life. Almost 24 million Americans—one in every 12—are diabetic and the disease is causing widespread disability and death at an epidemic pace, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those with diabetes, 6.5 million are estimated to suffer with chronic or non-healing wounds. Associated with inadequate circulation, poorly functioning veins, and immobility, non-healing wounds occur most frequently in the elderly and in people with diabetes—populations that are sharply rising as the nation ages and chronic diseases increase. At the <insert WCC name>, we follow treatment protocols specifically established for each type of wound. We utilize the latest approaches to wound healing and remain current in new scientific advances in wound care.
A comprehensive team of wound care specialists
The Wound Care Center is designed to complement your physicians' services and is committed to the treatment of chronic or non-healing wounds. The Center is made up of a team of professionals, including:
- Physicians from a variety of specialties, with advanced training in wound management and hyperbaric oxygen therapy
- Nursing staff trained in the care of chronic wounds
- Technicians who perform non-invasive studies and various therapies
- Experienced staff to assist with appointments, medical records, and health insurance processing
- A personalized wound treatment program
What is specialized wound care?
Once a treatment plan has been initiated, you will visit the Center on a regular basis for specialized treatments and documentation of the progress of your healing. You will also be fully instructed on how to do your own wound care at home between visits, as well as how to protect your wound from further injury. It is very important to remember that you are the most important part of your healing process. Keeping appointments and following directions are critical to attaining a positive healing outcome. The Center employs the most technologically advanced wound care therapy, including debridement, topical wound therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, growth-factor therapy, tissue therapy, dressing selection, special shoes, and patient education. When wounds persist, a specialized and comprehensive approach is required for healing.
What to expect from the first appointment
Patients are mostly referred by their primary care physician, and the program operates by appointment. Upon referral to our Wound Care Center, patients undergo a thorough diagnostic examination to identify the type of wound you have and the underlying problems causing the wound. The initial appointment consists of a full assessment to determine the etiology of the wound, the appropriate classification and size of the wound, the overall health status of the patient and the patient’s ability to comply with needed therapies.
Based on the evaluation, a customized treatment plan is developed to optimize the therapies best suited to address the patient’s needs. Wound size and depth are documented at the initial visit, and again at each subsequent visit. Some of the diagnostic modalities which may be used include:
- Laboratory evaluation
- Radiology (including MRI)
- Transcutaneous oxygen testing
- Vascular studies, electrocardiogram
After this determination, a program specifically tailored to your needs will be initiated based on the most effective treatment options. An interdisciplinary approach will be used to provide the maximum healing possible.
Specialized wound care and hyperbaric oxygen therapy are usually administered on an outpatient basis. Patients are free to drive themselves to the Center for therapy, and you should plan two-and-a-half to three hours for each visit.
Have questions or want more information? Give us a call at 410-368-2370.
The Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine Center is located on the first floor of Saint Agnes Hospital.
900 Caton Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21229