LAUREL, Miss. - This is a press release from South Central Regional Medical Center.
The Wound Care Center at South Central Regional Medical Center, a member of the Healogics network, is participating in the Healogics National Diabetes Campaign from October 26 to October 30. One of nearly 800 Healogics-managed Centers; South Central Regional Medical Center offers advanced therapies to patients suffering from chronic wounds like diabetic foot ulcers. Program directors across the nation will dedicate the entire week to visiting local physician offices to provide education to help staff identify diabetic patients with or at risk of having ulcers of the lower extremity.
An estimated 29.1 million people have diabetes, and nearly 28 percent of people are undiagnosed. Age, diet, activity level, obesity and heredity are all risk factors for diabetes. People with diabetes can also experience co-existing conditions such as stroke, blindness, heart disease, kidney failure and lower-limb amputation.
In 2010, about 73,000 non-traumatic lower-limb amputations were performed in adults aged 20 years or older with diagnosed diabetes. This accounts for 60 percent of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations. People with an amputation have a 50 percent mortality rate within five years. Diabetes related amputations often result from chronic wounds caused by diabetes or diabetic foot ulcers. It is estimated that 25 percent of all diabetics will develop a diabetic foot ulcer.
There are several common factors of diabetic foot ulcers including neuropathy, peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and deformities such as Charcot foot. Neuropathy is a result of damage to peripheral nerves and often causes weakness, numbness and pain in hands and feet. Similarly, PAD is caused by narrowed arteries which reduces blood flow to the limbs. Charcot foot is a deformity that results from nerve damage in the foot or ankle and causes injuries to go untreated, leading to the breakdown of joints.
South Central Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine Center recommends the following to help prevent diabetic foot ulcers:
Annual foot examinations by a healthcare provider
Daily inspections of the feet by the patient or family member
Regular care of the feet, including cleaning toenails and taking care of corns and calluses
Supportive, proper footwear (shoes and socks)
Taking steps to improve circulation, such as eating healthier and exercising on a regular basis
Proper wound care techniques are imperative to heal diabetic foot ulcers. Debridement, the removal of damaged tissue, is widely recognized as one of the most important methods of advanced wound care.
Relieving pressure from the wound, also known as off-loading, should be included in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers, as well. Finally, controlling possible infection is necessary because the diabetic foot ulcer can be an entry point for bacteria.
South Central Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine Center, located on the ground floor of South Central Regional Medical Center, opened in February 2010. The clinic features five patient rooms and two hyperbaric chambers, along with a full medical staff, to provide assistance in the healing process.
Under the direction of Stacy Smithers, M.D., General Surgeon and Medical Director of South Central Wound Care, patients are provided individualized treatment plans that include the most advanced wound care therapies available today, including Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy allows the patient to breathe pure oxygen in a pressurized room for the treatment of wounds that will not heal.
South Central Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine Program offers:
Primary Care Physician Support
Diabetic Support Group – First Tuesday of each month at 1 p.m. at South Central Place in Laurel
Diabetes Educational Classes – Referral available from Primary Care Physician.
Wound Care Outpatient and Inpatient Care with Certified Wound Care Nurses
Rhonda Beasley, CWOCN
Sandra Faircloth, CWOCN