Approximately five million Americans suffer from chronic open sores that can be seriously infected, gangrenous and may require surgical procedures. This is often due to limited blood flow, which can slow the body’s healing process.
The Diabetic and Wound Healing Center at St. Catherine’s is equipped and ready to treat your wound to improve your quality of life, in a compassionate and private setting. St Catherine’s stall will evaluate your wound, general health and medical history. After a complete evaluation, a program will be implemented based on your individual needs. The program may require regular visits for staff to fully evaluate your healing process and to adjust your program, if needed. You will also be provided with detailed instructions on how to care for your wound at home.
Most patients seek professional help for wounds that have not healed over a significant period of time. If an individual suffers from chronic, non-healing wounds that are associated with diabetic complications, vascular disorders or pressure ulcers, then specialized wound care is needed. In most cases, patients who receive treatment through wound care program experience less pain, shorter inpatient stays, faster recovery and improved quality of life.
Of the 5 million Americans who suffer from chronic wounds 15% of these people are people with diabetes. Diabetic foot ulcers are the most common type of chronic wound, and can lead to lower extremity amputation. Foot ulcers are open wounds that can develop on the sides, top or soles of the feet. Anyone who has diabetes can develop foot ulcers. Consulting with specialists is crucial to the healing process of a diabetic wound.
People with diabetes are prone to foot ulcers or wounds due to decreased circulation to their lower extremities. They experience neuropathy or numbing of the foot or leg. When neuropathy is present, small cuts and sores on the foot can go unnoticed for days or even weeks. They can also develop ulcers from the narrowing of the small arteries called microvascular disease.
The most common of all wounds are pressure ulcers, also known as bed sores. Pressure ulcers develop when soft tissue is pressed between two hard services for long periods of time. Pressure ulcers usually occur on areas of the body where tissue is closest to the bone. Friction can play a role in the development of pressure ulcers.
Venous ulcerations are the most common wounds affecting the lower extremities. A normal vein has valves that prevent backflow of blood. When these valves malfunction, the blood backs up, causing congestion. A brownish discoloration can develop on the skin. A typical venous ulceration will be shallow and may be painful and may weep.
An Arterial ulceration can occur anywhere on the body, but often on the top of the foot. The skin will feel cool, appear dry, red, and an individual may experience loss of hair on the toes.
Wounds that might compromise the veins, arteries, lymphatic system and the skeletal structure or organs are called traumatic wounds. These wounds can lead to an ulcer.
Approximately two million Americans suffer a burn each year. Burns can be classified as first, second and third degree injuries. These burns can be caused by scalds, thermal or chemical trauma.