Wound care centers, or wound management centers, are medical facilities staffed with wound care specialists and other health care professionals, where slow-healing wounds are treated. For most individuals, allowing a wound to heal is a natural process, requiring little more than patience and cleanliness. But for some people, wound healing can become a challenging medical problem requiring specialized treatment and care. There are numerous reasons why a wound may refuse to heal, but fortunately there are wound care centers staffed with medical professionals who are specially trained to evaluate non-healing wounds and devise a treatment plan. Slow-healing wounds often affect diabetics and other individuals with medical conditions that compromise the body’s ability to heal. Specialized wound management centers offer a variety of services designed to effectively treat difficult wounds and help manage associated medical conditions.
Who Should go to a Wound Care Center?
You may want to consider visiting a wound care center if your wound hasn’t begun to heal two weeks after the injury, or if it hasn’t finished healing in six weeks. There may be a variety of reasons why a wound doesn’t heal normally, including infections, nutritional deficiencies, physical disabilities, a suppressed immune system, diabetes, chemotherapy or radiation. The body’s ability to metabolize waste and absorb nutrients and oxygen can also have a negative effect on wound healing. It has been recognized, however, that the majority of wound patients come from specific risk categories, including:
• Diabetics frequently develop non-healing wounds due to poor circulation, particularly in the lower extremities.
• Those with venous or arterial conditions may have difficulty healing wounds because of poor circulation or a lack of well oxygenated blood.
• Immobile, or bed-ridden patients often develop pressure ulcers, or bedsores, which are considered chronic wounds and can be challenging to heal.
• Geriatric patients, who may also be immobile, sometimes acquire vascular diseases that exacerbate wound healing issues.
Wound Management Centers
Wound management centers are often found located inside major hospitals, but stand-alone facilities are common as well. In some cases, primary care physicians may refer patients to wound management centers to treat their slow-healing wound. Some of the types of wounds that may benefit from wound management centers are:
• Diabetic foot, leg and other wounds
• Wounds in tissues exposed to radiation
• Bedsores, or pressure wounds
• Infected wounds
• Wounds and weeping dermatitis due to lymphedema
• Venous ulcers
• Wounds complicated by peripheral arterial disease
• Wounds that are slow to heal after surgery or trauma
Wound management centers offer a variety of services designed to address problems with healing and associated medical conditions. Most facilities offer services including a comprehensive evaluation of the wound, treatment, redressing of wounds, and assessment of treatment effectiveness. Other treatments and services that may be offered include:
• Surgical wound closure
• Wound VAC/Vacuum-Assisted Closure
• HBOT/Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment
• Living skin substitutes
• Growth factors
For more information about the specific services offered at your local wound management center, contact the facility nearest you.
Wound Care Specialists
Wound care centers are staffed with specialists experienced in treating wounds. Wound care specialists are medical professionals who have received specialized training and certification in wound care. Skin and wound management is a specialized area of medical practice that spotlights overall skin care and promotion of an optimal wound environment. A variety of medical professionals can become certified in wound care, gaining an in-depth knowledge of wound treatment in addition to the expertise they have in their field. Doctors, podiatrists, nurses, and physical therapists can become a certified wound specialist. Because of the vigorous certification process, you can be sure that when you are being treated by a certified wound specialist you are receiving the best of wound care.
Disclaimer: This information is intended only as an introduction to this procedure. This information should not be used to determine whether you will have the procedure performed nor does it guarantee results of your elective surgery. Further details regarding surgical standards and procedures should be discussed with your physician.
By VeinDirectory.org Staff
Updated: March 9, 2010