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Wound Healing: What diabetics need to know

At the St. Vincent’s Center for Wound Healing we see patients with all types of non-healing wounds, wounds that would not heal normally due to diabetes, poor circulation or other comorbid conditions. Diabetics are at the highest risk for developing a non-healing wound due to the loss of sensation in their feet and the impact that diabetes has on the blood vessels supplying the feet and lower legs.


When to Seek Treatment:

Talk to your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • Wound that hasn’t healed in 30 days (commonly experienced by people with diabetes).

  • Sore with increasing pain, redness or swelling, foul odor, or a change in color.

  • Surgical wound that has become infected.


It is estimated that 2 million people with diabetes will develop a wound of their lower limb this year. It is important that patients with diabetes check their feet regularly and see a podiatrist for routine foot care. However, if a person discovers they have a wound they need to seek an appointment with the Center for Wound Healing as soon as possible. Delayed treatment is a serious concern that can lead to infection requiring hospitalization or possible amputation.


A 56 year old male diabetic patient entered the wound healing center last summer; he was concerned about a callused area that would drain some blood onto his sock while he was at work. He was evaluated by one of our Wound Physicians, he was sent for an x-ray which revealed a pocket of infection in his foot.  Through early identification and an aggressive treatment plan that included a special walking boot and daily hyperbaric treatments the patient healed and was able to return to work. The Wound Healing Center set the patient up with a local podiatrist for ongoing foot care and referred him back to his Primary Care Physician for ongoing diabetes monitoring.


The St. Vincent’s Wound Healing Centers evaluated 650 new patients and healed over 700 wounds in 2015 between the two locations in Trumbull and Stratford.  Dr. Bharucha the Medical Director of the Trumbull program attributes his success in healing to “an aggressive treatment plan and having access to the latest technology in order to heal these patients quickly.” In addition to the having the “tools”, Dr. Hartnett the Medical Director of the Stratford program adds that “looking at the whole patient is equally as important.” Both Medical Directors wound practice is a sophisticated approach looking at many factors, “we want to find out not only how the wound occurred but why isn’t it healing?” Their evidence based algorithm includes assessing the patients blow flow, nutrition status, evaluating areas of pressure and ordering proper offloading measures. They also look at the social environment and if the patient needs additional support in their homes, all in effort to get the patient healed, “It is really a team effort and requires a village to heal some of these tough wounds” said Dr. Bhaurcha and Dr. Hartnett.

The St. Vincent’s Wound Centers offer cutting edge Wound Healing technology that includes debridement, dressing selection, hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy, negative pressure wound therapy, bio-engineered skin substitutes, biological and biosynthetic dressings and growth factor therapies. If you feel that you or a loved one needs to be seen by one of our Wound Healing experts please contact one our convenient locations in Trumbull at 203-581-6501 or Stratford at 203-380-3970. A referral is not necessary and treatment is covered by most insurances.

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Click here to learn more about St. Vincent's Wound Centers for Wound Healing.

 

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