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Caring For Wounds That Won't Heal

wounds.JPGSmall cuts and scrapes can sometimes turn serious. If you’re older or have certain health problems, such as diabetes or kidney disease, even small injuries can turn into chronic wounds that take a long time to heal.

If you develop such a wound, your doctor might recommend hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to speed healing. Patients lie down and relax inside a pressurized chamber that looks like a large tube. The pressure inside the chamber is higher than in the normal atmosphere. While inside, patients breathe in 100 percent oxygen for about a half hour to two hours, the usual length of a treatment.

“The higher pressure and concentrated oxygen allow more oxygen to enter a person’s blood,” explains Thomas M. Kain, MD, on staff at the Wound Healing Center at Bryn Mawr Hospital. “This oxygen-rich blood travels to other areas of the body and can help wounds heal more rapidly.”

Between doctor visits, there are ways you can help speed the healing process:
  • Avoid harsh products, such as iodine and antiseptic solutions, to clean your wound.
  • Use dressings to cover the wound and keep it moist.
  • Protect sores on your feet from pressure by using special shoes, crutches, or other equipment your doctor recommends.
  • Help leg sores heal by propping up your legs or wearing special stockings that put pressure on them. These measures improve blood flow and tame swelling.
If you’re at risk for stubborn wounds, you can help prevent them in the first place:
  • Keep clean by washing with a mild soap. Check bath or shower water with a thermometer to make sure it’s not too hot (80 to 95 degrees is safe). Dry skin well, including under arms, between legs, and between toes.
  • Smooth on an unscented, alcohol-free moisturizer, if your skin is dry. But avoid putting lotion between toes. This could lead to an infection.
  • Choose comfortable shoes that fit well.
  • Check your skin—especially on your legs and feet—every day for cuts, blisters, and other sores. If you find a new sore, call your doctor.
Wound Healing Centers are available at Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr and Paoli Hospitals, where all staff is specially trained in wound management. HBOT is offered at Bryn Mawr and Paoli Hospitals. To make an appointment, call 1.866.CALL.MLH.
 
Posted by Main Line Health on 2/6/2012 10:26:21 AM

Caring For Wounds That Won't Heal

wounds.JPGSmall cuts and scrapes can sometimes turn serious. If you’re older or have certain health problems, such as diabetes or kidney disease, even small injuries can turn into chronic wounds that take a long time to heal.

If you develop such a wound, your doctor might recommend hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to speed healing. Patients lie down and relax inside a pressurized chamber that looks like a large tube. The pressure inside the chamber is higher than in the normal atmosphere. While inside, patients breathe in 100 percent oxygen for about a half hour to two hours, the usual length of a treatment.

“The higher pressure and concentrated oxygen allow more oxygen to enter a person’s blood,” explains Thomas M. Kain, MD, on staff at the Wound Healing Center at Bryn Mawr Hospital. “This oxygen-rich blood travels to other areas of the body and can help wounds heal more rapidly.”

Between doctor visits, there are ways you can help speed the healing process:
  • Avoid harsh products, such as iodine and antiseptic solutions, to clean your wound.
  • Use dressings to cover the wound and keep it moist.
  • Protect sores on your feet from pressure by using special shoes, crutches, or other equipment your doctor recommends.
  • Help leg sores heal by propping up your legs or wearing special stockings that put pressure on them. These measures improve blood flow and tame swelling.
If you’re at risk for stubborn wounds, you can help prevent them in the first place:
  • Keep clean by washing with a mild soap. Check bath or shower water with a thermometer to make sure it’s not too hot (80 to 95 degrees is safe). Dry skin well, including under arms, between legs, and between toes.
  • Smooth on an unscented, alcohol-free moisturizer, if your skin is dry. But avoid putting lotion between toes. This could lead to an infection.
  • Choose comfortable shoes that fit well.
  • Check your skin—especially on your legs and feet—every day for cuts, blisters, and other sores. If you find a new sore, call your doctor.
Wound Healing Centers are available at Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr and Paoli Hospitals, where all staff is specially trained in wound management. HBOT is offered at Bryn Mawr and Paoli Hospitals. To make an appointment, call 1.866.CALL.MLH.
 
Posted by Main Line Health on 2/6/2012 10:26:21 AM
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