There are four key phases for a wound to heal successfully:
[click image to enlarge] Specialized Wound Treatment Centers have better outcomes because they bring together many disciplines to not only treat wounds, but also to address the underlying barriers to healing.
- Hemostasis – clotting to control bleeding.
- Inflammation – swelling occurs as helpful materials are transported to the wound site and invasive microbes are pushed out.
- Proliferation – a protective layer of tissue is formed.
- Remodeling – rebuilding of tissue and revascularization and reorganization of the new tissue to function like the surrounding tissue.
Any factors that interfere with one or more of these phases can prevent wounds from healing. Some of the most common factors include:
- Poor Circulation – Oxygen and materials needed for healing can’t get to the wound site. Dead cells and harmful materials can’t be carried away.
- Diabetes – Diabetes interferes with healing in many ways, including lower oxygen levels, weaker immunity and decreased ability to form new skin cells and blood vessels. Diabetic nerve damage can also make it harder to sense a wound and seek treatment.
- Infection – Harmful bacteria can prolong inflammation and prevent new
- Nutrition Deficits – Wounds need energy, protein and other vital nutrients to heal.
- Repeat Trauma – Wounds on feet, moving joints and any body parts that may easily get bumped, rubbed or pressured are more susceptible to reopening.
[click image to enlarge] Every hour, ten Americans will undergo an amputation due to diabetes. Of those, 50% will die in five years. People with diabetes need to be on the lookout for non-healing wounds and seek treatment right away.
It is estimated that 25 percent of the 29.1 million people living with diabetes will develop a diabetic foot ulcer. Without treatment, these wounds can lead to amputation or even death. Every hour, ten Americans undergo an amputation as a result of diabetes.
What’s even more startling – 50 percent of people who have an amputation will die within five years.
“The statistics are truly sobering when you realize that about 60 percent of non-traumatic limb amputations are performed on people living with diabetes,” said General Surgeon James R. Shepich, M.D., medical director of the Wound Treatment Center at MidMichigan Medical Center – Midland.
But there are steps you can take to avoid becoming a statistic.
Check Your Feet
Patients with diabetes – or their caregivers – should check their feet at least every other day to Continue reading.
[click image to enlarge] People with PAD are more likely to develop non-healing wounds that require specialized wound treatment. If you or someone you love has these symptoms or risk factors, be on the lookout for non-healing wounds.
Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is a narrowing of the arteries that reduces blood flow to the legs. It affects between eight and 12 million people in the United States. While the majority of people with PAD don’t know they have it, they have the same five-year mortality rate as people with breast and colorectal cancer.
PAD is often underdiagnosed. One in 20 Americans over age 50 has PAD, and one in three Americans over 50 with diabetes is likely to have it.
Since PAD often has no noticeable symptoms, it is important to know the factors that could put you more at risk. These include:
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- personal history of heart or vascular disease
- Age (people are more likely to get PAD as they get older)
- Race (African-Americans are twice as likely as Caucasians to have the disease.)
Just knowing your risk can help you to be on the lookout for PAD warning signs while also Continue reading.
Currently, 6.7 million people in the United States are living with chronic wounds. Due to lack of awareness of advanced wound care, the vast majority of these people do not receive the treatment they need and deserve.
Who May Be Affected?
[click image to enlarge] People with certain conditions or factors are more likely to develop wounds that don’t heal. The most common wound types are pressure ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, venous stasis ulcers, surgical and trauma wounds and arterial ulcers.
While anyone may be affected, the following groups are particularly susceptible to non-healing wounds. These patients and their caregivers should be on the lookout for wounds that do not heal on their own and should seek treatment right away:
- People with diabetes
- Those with a personal history of heart or vascular disease
- People who have had amputations
- Cancer survivors, especially those who have had radiation therapy
- Those who are obese or overweight
- Patients who have been readmitted to the hospital
- Surgical patients
The most common types of wounds are: Continue reading.
They say that “time heals all wounds.” But when it comes to physical wounds, time is of the essence.
The Wound Treatment Centers at MidMichigan Health want you to know how important it is to quickly identify and report any non-healing wounds to your doctor. As these graphs show, recognizing and reporting a wound early can improve both the time it takes to heal your wound and the likelihood that it will heal. Getting an early referral to a specialized Wound Treatment Center can make all the difference.
Non-healing wounds can interfere with your quality of life and may even lead to amputations if not properly treated. When wounds persist, specialized methods like those offered at the Wound Treatment Center are required for healing.
Certain people are more likely to develop wounds and should be especially on the lookout for cuts, scrapes or sores that do not heal quickly and normally. These include people with:
- Poor circulation
- Poorly functioning veins
- Reduced mobility
- Previous radiation treatment for cancer
The Wound Treatment Centers in Alma, Clare, Midland and West Branch specialize in treating non-healing wounds. They use an interdisciplinary model of care, including infectious disease management, physical therapy, occupational therapy, laboratory evaluation, nutritional management, pain management, diabetic education, radiology testing and debridement to address the patient’s overall health. In addition to these comprehensive treatments, the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been proven effective in reducing swelling, fighting infection, building new blood vessels and ultimately, producing healthy tissue.
Take Action. Seek Specialized Treatment.
If you or someone you love is living with a non-healing wound, don’t wait — seek specialized treatment. Call the Wound Treatment Centers toll free at (877) 683-0800 or visit www.midmichigan.org/woundcenter.