Wound Healing Awareness Month, or WHAM, is a month-long celebration that takes place in June and focuses on common wound types and the benefits of treatment in an outpatient wound healing facility.
As Americans continue efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, the team from Bristol Health’s Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine remain on the front lines, preventing unnecessary amputations and further complications from non-healing wounds. June is Wound Healing Awareness Month; a time to recognize the efforts of our superhero wound care staff and remember that wound care is essential.
Skin Wounds: Types, Risks, and Treatment Options
For many people, wounds such as cuts or sores naturally heal within a short time. However, in some cases, wounds fail to heal properly on their own, leading to extended hospital stays or potentially dangerous medical complications. Underlying medical problems such as diabetes, poor circulation, obesity, or an impaired immune system often contribute to the development of non-healing wounds. Seniors are at a high risk of developing non-healing wounds, with an estimated 3 percent of people over 65 having open sores in the United States. The senior population is expected to exceed 55 million this year, suggesting that chronic wounds will be a severe problem in the coming years.
Non-healing wounds may include:
Foot or leg ulcers caused by diabetes complications
Skin sores caused by radiation treatment
Internal injuries such as bone infection (osteomyelitis)
Crush injuries from an accident
A multidisciplinary wound healing center can provide the specialized treatment options and medical expertise needed to support the body’s healing process, limit health complications, and speed recovery. Wounds that have not fully healed and stay open for over a month are known as chronic wounds. Chronic wounds affect an estimated 8.2 million Americans and are commonly connected to underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and obesity. Common chronic wounds include diabetic ulcers, pressure ulcers, venous ulcers, and arterial ulcers.
Consequences of non-healing wounds
Non-healing wounds can have serious implications for an individual’s health, finances, and overall quality of life. Treatment for non-healing wounds can mean more prolonged and more frequent hospital stays. Extended hospitalization, in turn, leads to high healthcare costs and decreased work productivity, resulting in severe financial burdens for many individuals In some cases, amputation or death may result from non-healing wounds. Recent studies demonstrate that amputation of lower extremities, such as toes or feet, increased by a staggering 50 percent between 2009 and 2015. Surprisingly, this increase was particularly high among young and middle-aged adults, likely due to increased rates of diabetes and obesity. In many cases, comprehensive, specialized wound care treatment can speed healing, limit complications, and help those dealing with non-healing wounds achieve long-term recovery.
Benefits of a comprehensive wound treatment facility
A specialized wound healing center possesses highly skilled medical staff specialized in wound care treatment. In coordination with the patient’s primary physician, specialized wound healing centers follow a multidisciplinary approach to aggressively treat non-healing wounds, supporting faster healing and better long-term outcomes. After evaluating a patient’s unique medical history and symptoms, wound care specialists develop a personalized wound management plan. Cutting edge technologies, such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, may be used to speed healing and limit serious complications. As experts in wound healing, Bristol Health’s Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine r has a proven track record of healing challenging-to-treat wounds. We are open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to meet your scheduling needs. If you or a loved one has a wound that is not healing correctly, don’t wait – call us at 860-585-3397 to make an appointment.