Wound Care Speeds Up the Healing Process
Patients with open wounds or ulcers that are difficult to heal can often benefit from wound therapy. Wound treatment can help speed the healing process, relieving pain, reducing opportunities for infection and improving quality of life.
Difficult-to-heal wounds can result from a variety of conditions, including:
- Traumatic injury
- Pressure ulcers
- Venous stasis (inadequate blood flow)
Evaluation and Treatment
Prior to treatment, a wound care specialist will measure the size and depth of the wound and evaluate its condition, as well as the condition of the surrounding skin. Throughout the treatment period, which can range from a few days to several weeks, MidMichigan wound care specialists work closely with the patient’s primary care provider or specialist to monitor progress and make any necessary adjustments to the therapy plan.
Treatment options may include any or all of the following:
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy - A specialized treatment for problematic, non-healing wounds that meet specific criteria. During the treatments, the patient breathes 100 percent oxygen inside a pressurized chamber, quickly increasing the concentration of oxygen in the bloodstream, where it is delivered to a patient's wound site for faster healing.
- Debridement – The medical removal of dead, damaged, or infected tissue to improve the healing potential of the remaining healthy tissue. Depending on the type and condition of the wound, this may include wiping with a sterile gauze, rinsing with saline solution, pulse lavage (forced rinsing and suction), a whirlpool bath or cutting with a scalpel or scissors.
- Dressing selection – The process of selecting of the right type of dressing for a particular wound (lacerations, puncture wounds, gun wounds, burn wounds, or a deep gash) to ensure effective and speedy healing.
- Electrical stimulation – The use of electrodes positioned around the wound area to help stimulate healing. Applying an electrical current to chronic wounds helps mimic the body’s natural bioelectrical currents and enhances tissue healing processes.
- Medications – The use of prescribed medications can also enhance the wound healing process. This may include prescribed ointments that maintain wound bed moisture, help break down unwanted tissue or protect against microbes.
In addition to wound therapy, patients may receive hands-on training, including:
- Instructions for cleaning and dressing the wound
- Exercises to increase blood circulation to the wound for accelerated healing
- Exercises to help maintain range of motion
- Proper skin care techniques, including scar management
Costs, Insurance and Referrals
Wound care services typically require a physician referral, although self referrals may be made to the Wound Treatment Center in Alma by calling (989) 466-7021.
Many health plans cover wound care treatments, including Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurances. If you have questions about coverage, your insurance carrier or employer's benefits department is the best source of information.
MidMichigan offers wound care services in: