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Queens Chronicle

Specialized wound care in Flushing

Helps reduce costs while preventing amputations

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Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013 10:30 am

In recent years, many advances have been made in the treatment of chronic, non-healing wounds and the need for them has become greater. Today, people are living longer, and with an increase in an older population also comes an increase in chronic conditions that can lead to chronic wounds. The most common culprit is diabetes.

Diabetes ravages the body in many ways. Visible complications of the disease include open ulcers and wounds on the feet and lower legs. For many, these afflictions and related complications often lead to lower extremity amputation. In the United States, it is estimated that every 30 seconds a lower limb is amputated because of a diabetic wound.

Non-healing wounds of the diabetic foot, in particular, are considered among the most significant complications of diabetes, representing a major worldwide medical, social, and economic burden. Eighty-five percent of diabetes-related amputations were preceded by the appearance of a foot ulcer. If not aggressively treated, these wounds can lead to amputation.

Chronic wound management can present may challenges for healthcare providers. In an ideal world, patients and their caregivers would take the necessary precautions, such as nutritional support or pressure reduction to prevent the development of ulcers. As many of us have seen, however, patients are often their own worst enemies in these matters.

When wounds persist, a specialized and holistic approach is required for healing. Wound care healing has benefited from the development of devices and dressings over the years that more effectively assist with wound healing.

The Wound Care Center at Flushing Hospital Medical Center is a state-of-the-art unit that provides specialized, interdisciplinary wound care to patients who suffer from non-healing or chronic wounds.

Designed to bring technically advanced, surgically oriented wound care to patients whose wounds are resistant to traditional forms of treatment, the center is staffed with wound care certified RNs, plastic surgeons, general surgeons, podiatrists, and vascular surgeons. It currently boasts a success rate of 91 percent, which is above the national average, and has expanded to a six-bed unit to better accommodate its growing number of patients.

The Wound Care Center at Flushing Hospital Medical Center offers a variety of specialty dressings, V.A.C. therapy and evaluation for and referral to hyperbaric therapy if needed. Also offered are Apligraf therapy and MediHoney dressings. MediHoney dressings are honey-soaked dressings that have proven to be very successful for certain types of non-healing wounds. Apligraf therapy is a revolutionary tissue regeneration therapy that uses actual living skin to treat non-healing wounds.

As the prevalence, complexity and incidence of chronic wounds continue to increase, so does the need for specialized wound care expertise that employs an evidence-based approach.

Flushing Hospital’s Wound Care Center works with referring physicians and provides them with regular updates on their patient’s healing progress, and notifies them once treatment is completed and their patients are healed.

For additional information on the Wound Care Center at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, 4500 Parsons Blvd., or to schedule an appointment, call (718) 670-4542.

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