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Non-healing wounds need special care

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A child who falls off his bike and scrapes his knee isn’t usually a cause for concern. A quick clean-up of the knee, patching on a bandaid and waiting just a few days for the wound to heal is a normal routine. However, when it comes to more severe wounds, such as from a surgery or an underlying medical problem like diabetes, wounds can become hard to heal and a serious issue. As a result, these non-healing wounds need proper care and treatment.

A non-healing wound is a wound that doesn’t heal within five to eight weeks, which can lead to infection, illness or even the loss of a limb. The providers at Bothwell Wound Healing Center treat serious wounds including diabetic foot ulcers, venous stasis ulcers, pressure ulcers, infections, burns and wounds as a result of trauma.

Dr. Jeff Wadley, one of the center’s providers, said non-healing wounds require specialized care.

“Underlying, complex conditions can prevent wounds from going through the expected healing stages,” Wadley said. “The longer a wound goes untreated, the greater the risk for infection, amputation and other complications.”

Pamela Harris, 61, of Sedalia, went to the Wound Healing Center because of a wound the size of a quarter on her leg. Consequently, she was on the verge of losing her foot. During her three years of weekly appointments and treatments, Harris experienced a bad fall and broke four toes. While her toes tried to heal, air was not getting between them and Harris ended up with another large wound on her toe. Before she went to Bothwell’s Wound Healing Center, Harris tried for several weeks to care for and treat the wound herself. 

“Don’t try to be your own doctor,”  she said. “Especially if you’re a diabetic.” 

Information from Healogics, the nation’s largest wound healing provider, shows up to 25% of all diabetics will develop a foot ulcer in their lifetime and 15% of people with a diabetic foot ulcer will experience an amputation. Approximately 6.7 million Americans are suffering from non-healing wounds.

Katie Case, Wound Healing Center director, said the center’s team uses advanced wound care procedures including wound debridement, total contact casting, compression wraps, bioengineered skin substitutes, specialized wound dressings and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

“Hyperbaric oxygen therapy heals a wound from the inside out,” Case said. “This involves the patient breathing oxygen inside a pressurized chamber, which quickly increases the concentration of oxygen in the bloodstream where it is delivered to a patient's wound for faster healing.”

In addition to Wadley, other providers at the Wound Healing Center include Dr. Trevor Beckham, Dr. Alan Allmon and Nurse Practitioner Gail Meyer. Each has undergone extensive wound care education through Healogics. In 2018, the center was named a Healogics’ Center of Excellence, which means the clinic has achieved a patient satisfaction level of equal to or greater than 92%, a healing rate of greater than or equal to 92%, and equal to or fewer than a median of 28 days to heal.

Wadley and Beckham cared for Harris, treated her like family and saved her from losing her foot. Advanced wound care procedures such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy and wound debridement were used to treat her wounds.

“A non-healing wound can get out of control fast,” Harris said. “There is a reason for the wound clinic, you could save limbs.” 

With the growing need for wound care, it is important to let the experts provide the proper care and treatment of non-healing wounds. No referral is needed to be seen by a provider at Bothwell Wound Healing Center. For more information, call 660-827-2525.

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