You should go to a wound care center when you have been diagnosed with a non-healing wound. A NJ Wound Care center or clinic are medical facilities that treat non-healing and chronic wounds. A wound is an injury or disruption that occurs in the skin or other types of tissues due to a traumatic force. We have all experienced small wounds before, and in most cases, they heal completely within a week or two. However, there are factors and diseases which can impair or disrupt the body’s normal healing process, resulting in a non-healing wound that may become chronic. Examples of some of the causes of poor wound healing include diabetes, peripheral vascular disease (poor circulation), radiation, diseases that affect immunity, malnutrition, infection, tobacco and alcohol abuse. Other terms referring to non-healing wounds are Decubitus ulcers, pressure sores, and diabetic ulcers, among others.
What is a Non-Healing Wound?
Physicians will consider a wound to be non-healing when there is no evidence of healing after two weeks, or it has not completely healed within six weeks. Non-healing wounds may take months or may never completely heal at all without diligent care. This level of care is delivered at a dedicated wound care center.
What to Expect
Your wound care team will consist of nurses, physical therapists, with a physician directing care. The physician will evaluate your medical status as well as your wound and prescribe a treatment plan. The nursing staff will provide wound care and dressing changes. Wound care center nurses will also provide patient education to instruct you on how to care for the wound at home. Physical Therapists also work directly with the non-healing wound itself and give patient education and assistance in maintaining mobility and daily activities.
The wound care team will carefully document the dimensions of the non-healing wound and do studies that help determine the adequacy of the local blood circulation to the wound. If the blood flow is inadequate for healing, non-surgical methods for vascular enhancement are helpful. These may include hyperbaric oxygen therapy and compression stockings. Wound care center teams do surgical debridement of the wounds. Debridement removes any necrotic (dead) or non-healing infected tissue. The debridement may be very superficial and require no anesthesia, or it can be quite extensive requiring general anesthesia. Artificial skin coverings may be used to cover the wound during the healing process. This “fake skin” protects the wound, and helps prevent infection. Ultrasound therapy is used on the chronic wound to increase blood circulation and enhance the bodies’ healing properties by decreasing inflammation in the surrounding healing tissues. Wound care centers may also use human growth factor therapy which improves the biochemical mechanisms involved in normal wound healing.
Goals of Treatment
Successful treatment of chronic or non-healing wounds can achieve complete wound healing with no residual infection. The wound care center will educate the patient on the prevention of chronic wound recurrence with proper nutrition, aggressive diabetic therapy if it applies, lifestyle changes and physical therapy.