Chronic Wound Care and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Wounds that heal slowly result in pain and get in the way of enjoying your day-to-day activities. In severe cases, chronic wounds cause infections of the bone and amputation of the infected area. If you are struggling with slow-healing wounds, Ashley Huddleston MD can help take care of the unsightly wounds and restore your quality of life.
Skilled wound care is needed for acute wounds and wounds that are infected. You have a non-healing wound when it fails to begin healing in two weeks or when it has not entirely healed in six weeks. If a carbuncle or an ulcer develops on either your foot or leg, medical attention is required since ulcers do not heal by themselves. If left unattended, they consistently worsen and result in complications.
Types of chronic wounds
- Pressure sores
- Venous leg ulcers
- Infected wounds
- Foot ulcers
- Surgical wound complications
Severe infections can affect the bones and the skin around the infected area. Sometimes there are complicated cases that result in amputation. You will notice several indicators which show that you have an infection and the wound is not properly healing, including:
- Redness and swelling
- Bad odor
- Streaks spreading from the wound
- Thick discharge
- A dark color around the wound
- Severe pain
Critical assessment and thorough treatment are vital when it comes to chronic wounds. Essential information like your medical history, physical examination, and evaluation of the wound size and depth are taken. There is also a test to determine your wound’s cause and look for any possible complications. Various therapies for wound care are offered. The modern treatment causes stabilization of the wound and healing. These advanced therapies include:
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
- Compression therapy
- Negative pressure therapy
- Pressure off-loading
- Infection management
- Bioengineered skin grafts
- Peri-wound skin management
- Wound debridement
Lifestyle and dietary changes are also offered in wound care management. Your body needs more nutrients than usual to promote healing – which makes nutritional counseling an essential part of wound care. You are also taught how to dress the wound and change the dressing to create a healthy environment for healing.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
This treatment involves breathing oxygen in a pressurized room. The oxygen concentration in a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber is three times higher than the normal air pressure in the environment. Your lungs can acquire more oxygen than usual. The oxygen inhaled helps eliminate harmful bacteria and promotes the production of stem cells and growth factors for healing.
Conditions treated using hyperbaric medicine include:
- Bone infection
- Diabetic wounds
- Venous leg ulcers
- Crush injuries
What to expect during treatment
During treatment, you will be required to lie on the examination table and cover your head using a mask. The mask is essential for the oxygen to get into your lungs. This causes pressure in your ears which can be relieved by yawning. Therapy takes about two hours.
Contact Wound Evolution – Wound Care Hyperbaric Medicine to schedule a consultation and start your journey toward healing.