Diabetes and poor blood flow can turn minor cuts and sores into major problems. KentuckyOne Health wound care centers have the expertise and advanced treatments to heal them.
Chronic wounds can occur anywhere on the body, but two of the most common locations are the legs and feet.
“Venous or arterial insufficiency can lead to blood flow or swelling complications, and in turn, cause ulcers on the legs or feet,” said Tina Hasty, BSN, CWCA, clinical program director at Saint Joseph Hospital Wound Care and Hyperbaric Oxygen Center, part of KentuckyOne Health. “Individuals who have diabetes may not notice a small wound on the bottom of the foot because the disease can cause nerve damage. Over time, these wounds may grow bigger without their knowledge, unless they check their feet regularly.”
Approximately 15 percent of patients with diabetes develop foot ulcers (open sores or wounds). This happens because healing is typically slower for those with diabetes.
“High levels of blood glucose can negatively impact one’s blood circulation and nervous system, which ultimately affects the body’s ability to heal,” said Timothy Ford, DPM, podiatric physician and surgeon. “It is very important for patients with diabetes to take care of their feet and look for any wounds. If not treated properly, wounds could lead to amputation.”
A Two-pronged Approach
If you have a wound that hasn’t healed in 30 days, you should visit a wound care center, where specially trained physicians and nurses can treat the wound and ensure you receive care for its underlying causes. KentuckyOne Health has three wound care centers, which are located in Bardstown, Louisville and Lexington.
“Our wound care team develops treatment plans for patients and as indicated, refers them to specialists, including vascular surgeons, infectious disease specialists and podiatrists,” Hasty said. “We have a variety of treatments we can use to heal wounds, including advanced dressings, compression therapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Educating patients about their wounds is also an important part of our work.”
Have a wound that won’t heal? Learn more about treatments and find the wound care center nearest you.
This article originally appeared in the 2017 Summer edition of One Health Magazine. Sign up for your free subscription.