According to a 2017 study from the National Institutes of Health, over 7 million Americans suffered from chronic wounds at the time of the research. Now, a decade later, that number continues to rise.
When you have a wound that won’t heal, it can have a lasting impact on your everyday life. If you’ve considered wound care treatment for you or a loved one for improved quality of life, consider seeking specialist care for a more efficient and effective recovery.
Here are some reasons why making specialized care a part of your wound care experience may be right for you:
A Multidisciplinary Team Means a Well-Rounded Approach
When seeking a care program that specializes in wound care, you’ll have access to a trained team of nurses, physicians and physical therapists. Their expertise and diverse clinical knowledge can be combined to create a holistic plan for comfort and healing.
Don’t Just Treat the Symptom, Find the Cause
Working with a specialized wound care team means you have more resources at your disposal to determine the causes that contribute to your slow-healing wounds. Many factors can play into a delayed healing process, including:
Infection — Leads to larger wounds and a slower healing process
Diabetes — Increases the likelihood that chronic wounds will develop
Obesity — Increases risk for infection after surgery and can put tension on stitches, causing them to break open and further delay healing
Age — Generally plays a factor in the speed of the healing process because wounds heal more slowly as you get older
Alcohol — Excessive drinking can increase a person’s risk for post-surgical complications and contribute to a slower healing process
Smoking — Like drinking, tobacco use can delay the healing process after surgery, while also increasing risk for infections and opening wounds
Stress — Can often lead to poor sleep and eating habits, as well as excessive drinking or smoking
Medications — Some medications, including painkillers known as Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs or NSAIDs, can slow the healing process
Advanced Technologies Lead to Advanced Care
From specialized dressings to hyperbaric oxygen therapy, wound care centers have the equipment and techniques at their disposal to offer a wide variety of treatment that is usually unavailable at a medical office that does not specialize in wound care. These can have a huge impact on the speed of recovery and the final results of wound treatment. Some other techniques typically specific to wound care centers are:
Wound debridement — A process of removing tissue from the wound bed to promote healing
Bioengineered tissue substitutes — Replacements for damaged tissue that can seamlessly integrate into the skin
Platelet growth technologies — Stimulation of the body’s natural platelet production, leading to the skin healing faster
Wound Care Specialists Can Save Limbs and Lives
While a wound that doesn’t heal can first appear like more of an annoyance than a serious medical concern, if left untreated and unmanaged, it can lead to serious medical complications. Conversely, according to a 2012 study using data from the US Wound Registry, nearly two-thirds of patients seen at hospital-based outpatient wound centers heal their wounds, avoiding these complications and instead experiencing an improved quality of life going forward.
Concerned about a wound that just won’t heal? Ask your doctor if you should consider seeing a wound care specialist today. For more information, call 301-609-7701 or visit our website.