What is a wound care center?
A wound care center is a specialist medical treatment center that deals with wounds that won’t heal. Wound care center staff may include specially certified doctors, nurses, and physical therapists that can help manage and heal problematic wounds. These healthcare providers will coordinate treatment with your personal physician to make sure that you get the best care possible.
When should you go to a wound care center?
Typical wounds do not usually require treatment in a specialist wound care center. You might want to consider treatment in a wound care facility if you have a wound that hasn’t started to heal after 2 weeks, or still hasn’t completely healed after 6 weeks.
Wounds that would benefit from specialist wound care treatment include diabetic ulcers or other diabetes-related wounds; pressure ulcers; arterial or venous ulcers; moderate to severe burns; moderately to severely infected wounds; wounds resulting from surgery and amputation; and other complex wounds resulting from compromised circulation, such as traumatic injuries, wounds in patients with congestive heart failure or vascular disease, wounds in patients with severe obesity, and wounds in those suffering from renal failure or lymphedema.
What are the benefits of treatment in a wound care center?
- The key benefit of going to a wound care center is access to medical expertise. Wound care doctors, nurses, and physiotherapists have received specialist training working with complex wounds, and are therefore the best people to help your wound heal quickly and safely.
- When you work with a wound care center, after careful examination of the wound and an investigation of why it isn’t healing as usual, your medical team will create a highly customized treatment plan for caring for your wound.
- Wound care specialists will not only help to heal the wound - they will also make sure that it doesn’t get any worse and cut down on the risk of infection.
- In the case of severe limb wounds, specialist wound care team may be the key to preventing limb loss.
- Wound care centers have access to the latest techniques and technological advances for healing wounds.
- In the case of potentially recurring conditions, wound care doctors can help ensure that you do not suffer from similar wounds in the future.
- Wound care physiotherapy may also help keep you mobile and reduce the impact of your wound on your quality of life.
What should you look for when choosing a wound care center?
Here are a few of the things you should consider when choosing a healthcare center for your wound treatment:
- Do they offer individualized treatment plans? Hard-to-heal wounds can be extremely complex, and you should avoid a one-size-fits-all treatment program.
- Do they offer the latest treatments for wound care, such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) or Wound Vac therapy?
- Do they have qualified wound care doctors on staff?
- Do they have specialist nurses and ancillary staff to help support you during the healing process?
- Do they have physical therapy or occupational therapy available to help you manage your pain and keep mobile while you heal?
What specialist wound care treatments should I consider?
Vacuum-assisted wound closure, or wound VAC, is one of the latest treatments for wound care.
During this treatment, healthcare professionals use a wound vacuum device to remove air pressure from the surface of the wound.
This process helps to reduce swelling, cleans the wound, removes bacteria to prevent infection, and pulls the edges of the wound together gently, helping the wound to close and heal. Wound VAC has a number of advantages over other treatments: it tends to reduce wound discomfort and pain, usually reduces the number of dressing changes you need, and may also make it easier to keep dressings in place. The dressings usually need changing less often. And they may be easier to keep in place.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)
During hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the patient lies in a hyperbaric chamber, while the air pressure is increased to two or three times higher than normal. This means that you can take in much more oxygen than usual, which is then carried throughout your body in your bloodstream. This increased oxygen level encourages wound healing and fights bacteria.
If you have a wound that isn’t healing, you’d be well advised to consider working with a wound care center. Rehab Select has wound care specialists at 3 out of 5 of our locations to help your rehabilitation process. Click here to learn more about the wound care treatment available in our inpatient rehab facilities at Rehab Select.