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The Importance of Professional Wound Care

  • Category: Articles by Clinicians
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Kerry Gott, MD, Infectious Disease Specialist and Program Medical Director, Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Care Center
Whether due to a diabetic foot ulcer, radiation burn, or surgical lesion, there are many reasons a patient might seek care for a wound that will not heal. It can be frustrating when the body refuses to cooperate, but left without proper medical treatment, a stubborn wound could progress to the point of infection or require emergency care.

When you’re unsure about a wound, it’s best to seek the opinion of a professional wound care specialist. Wound care specialists provide prevention, intervention, and treatment for open wounds, with the goal of accelerating healing, reducing complications, and preventing catastrophic outcomes like amputation.

A wound care center in an accredited hospital offers a level of expertise not found in the primary healthcare setting. Led by physicians specializing in wound assessments and the underlying causes of wounds, and supported by nurses trained to treat open wounds, these centers provide a more thorough approach that includes not just topical wound care but vascular evaluation, treatment of infection, surgical referrals when needed, and more.

A wound care specialist can measure the blood flow and oxygen level of skin tissue in and around the lesion, providing a more accurate assessment of healing potential and helping to determine the best course of care. Wound care centers offer a range of treatments to revitalize tissues that have poor circulation or other impediments to healing, which in turn can promote the growth of new blood vessels and healthy tissue. Wound care centers also provide critical patient education to address underlying risk factors and minimize the risk of recurrence.

For stubborn wounds that don’t improve with advanced wound care, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) may be an appropriate option. HBOT is a great mechanism for treating certain types of wounds, because it accelerates healing by enabling large amounts of oxygen to dissolve into the tissues during the 90-minute treatment session. By receiving 100% oxygen in pressurized chambers, patients benefit almost immediately from the therapeutic effects of higher tissue oxygen levels.

During an HBOT treatment, a hyperbaric technician tends to the patient in the treatment chamber, who is able to listen to music or watch TV. It is not a painful procedure—rather, as the pressure fluctuates, it feels like the experience of ascending and descending on an airplane. Importantly, the supervising physician is always immediately available to provide assistance.

Regardless of the level of care you need, if you have a wound that won’t heal, don’t wait. Led by a Certified Wound Specialist with more than 20 years’ experience, Casa Colina’s Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Care Center offers comprehensive care to heal your body and get you back to the things you love. To learn more, call 909/596-7733, ext. 3611.