The emotional, physical, and financial toll on those struggling with wounds can be painful. Depending upon the location and complexity of the wound, they can be debilitating. Living with a non-healing (chronic) wound can create hardship that prevents patients from working and living their normal lives. Understanding what causes an acute wound (a wound that occurs from a sudden breakage of the skin versus one that develops over time) to become a chronic wound (a wound that does not follow the normal phases of healing in a timely manner) helps to determine the right steps needed for care and recovery. Recognizing the factors that lead to complications is also essential. Knowing what to look for and finding a Wound Care Specialist can be the key to healing.
With proper care and hygiene, many wounds follow the normal healing process and resolve within four weeks. However, others remain in the inflammatory stage of healing, refusing to progress in an orderly fashion. The severity of the wound and the patient’s overall health can play a role in why this can happen. Crystal Stautzenberger, PAM Health Corporate Outpatient Program Director, and Peyton Cuellar, Outpatient Wound Care Program Director at PAM Health Specialty Hospital of Victoria North, have years of combined experience directing wound care management programs dedicated to treating acute, chronic, and complex wounds. Stautzenberger explains that some of the most common types of wounds treated at PAM Health Wound Care Centers include those caused by a number of circumstances, including:
Cuellar shares that regardless of the cause of the wound, the factors that contribute positively to healing include:
1. Oxygenation – Oxygen helps wounds to heal and to fight off infection. Specific therapies like HBOT (Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy) provide higher levels of oxygen to the body to promote faster and more complete healing.
2. Nutrition – Eating and hydrating properly play substantial roles in the health and healing of wounds. Getting enough protein is especially important because it helps to build, repair, and maintain body tissues. Staying hydrated helps maintain healthy blood flow because water is a major part of blood.
3. Hygiene – Keeping a wound clean and clear of bacteria that can cause infection can dramatically improve healing.
4. Lifestyle – Alcoholism, smoking, and lack of exercise can affect wound healing. All three factors interfere with the body’s normal functioning.
5. Age – As people age, their skin may lose its elasticity and ability to heal as quickly.
Understanding the role each of these factors play in wound healing is an important part of getting better. Another critical component is finding the ideal Wound Care Center with specialists trained to deal with all types of wounds. Cuellar shares some of the qualities to look for when seeking treatment.
In addition, Cuellar and Stautzenberger agree that patients can benefit when a Wound Care Center has a comprehensive approach to care. They suggest considering these factors when selecting a Wound Care Center:
Understandably, wound care patients can often be nervous about entering into a treatment program because they may have been living with their wounds for a long time. However, the friendly and caring team members at PAM Health Wound Care Centers are able to help patients set their worries aside by taking the time to explain how we can help them. Very often, patients become like family, and our teams dedicate themselves to helping heal our patients so they can return to a normal lifestyle.
To learn more about how PAM Health can help with wound care, read about Juan Munoz’s Worker’s Compensation wound healing journey following a workplace crush injury. To find a PAM Health Wound Care Center near you, visit our Wound Care Center page.