Injuries are an unpleasant fact of life. They come in many shapes and sizes, each with unique needs and treatments. Many wounds are simple and easy to treat. Sometimes gentle cleaning and a fresh bandage are all that’s needed. However, some injuries present far greater difficulties, particularly in the area of successful healing. These injuries may appear small and simple at first, but worrisome symptoms reveal their seriousness. If you find yourself with an injury that is stubborn to heal or are suffering from a medical condition that could jeopardize your wound’s recovery, it is wise to consider seeking treatment from a trusted wound care provider.
Many questions arise when considering this type of medical care. Although it is a very successful and vital aspect of medical care, many are uncertain about what constitutes wound care and what makes it so successful. Before your first consultation, consider these frequently asked questions.
How do wounds normally heal? Why isn’t mine?
When we receive a wound–whether large or small–the body goes through a set healing process aimed at maximizing recovery. This healing process can be simplified into three main stages: Clotting, inflammation, and regeneration.
Immediately following a cut or wound, the platelets within the blood instantly form around the opening and begin clumping together to stop the bleeding. They also release chemicals to signal more platelets to come and continue clotting. This continues under the bleeding has completely stopped.
Even after the bleeding has stopped, the body still has a lot of work before the wound can heal. Once the wound closes, the body begins a process to clean dead tissue and cells from the area. White blood cells consume the infected and damaged tissues, paving the way for recovery.
Once the wound is clear of debris and infection, new tissue can begin growing. New skin cells form and begin to slowly seal-off the wound. Scabbing slowly flakes off as the new skin forms beneath.
This process is extremely successful much of the time. The body is a master of caring for itself. However, when any one of these steps are flawed or dysfunctional, the wound healing process is radically affected, leaving the body open to infection and complications. The National Institutes of Health report factors such as age, sex, lifestyle, health conditions, and nutrition all play vital roles in wound healing. When these factors negatively affect the body, wounds heal poorly, putting the body at risk.
What wounds qualify for wound care?
Many have misconceptions about what types of wounds require wound care. Some instantly think of huge, gaping wounds oozing with infection. Although there is definitely a place for injuries such as this, the majority of wounds requiring interventional wound care are smaller and less gruesome. Even wounds that appear small may be very serious. This is especially true for those who suffer from diabetes. Something as small as in ingrown toenail may present serious risks of infections. Other types of qualifying wounds include:
- Diabetic foot ulcers
- Fungal infections
- Venous stasis–a condition of abnormally slow blood flow which puts individuals at risk for future blood clots.
- Chronically slow healing wounds–wounds not healing within orderly stages or taking longer than 3 months to fully heal.
- Acute wounds–commonly associated with recent surgeries or other invasive procedures.
How common is wound care treatment?
Wound care is a growing medical necessity. Many health conditions require regular appointments and treatments to maintain well-being. A recent study revealed that at 46.8% diabetes is the most common type of medical issue requiring regular wound care treatments. The same study also showed that wound care was common among those with increased health risks such as heart diseases.
How do I prepare for my wound care consultation?
Preparing for a wound care consultation can feel daunting, especially when you are unsure of what to expect. When preparing for your appointment it is helpful to keep these tips in mind. Adequate preparation before your consultation will greatly improve your appointment and ensure you begin treatment as quickly as possible.
Make a list of any questions you wish to discuss with your doctor. This prevents the risk of forgetting any important aspects you need to discuss.
Organize information about your wound such as when you received it, what type of healing it’s experienced, and what symptoms you have experienced with it such as pain, fevers, or other signs of infection.
Bring a list of any medication you take; be sure the spelling and dosages are correct.
Make a list of any other health conditions you’ve experienced or currently have. Some conditions may affect your treatment options. Even if you fill out the office paperwork, having a second personal copy can prevent potential confusion or mistakes.
Your wound care consultation is the first step to receiving the care you need. Arriving at the appointment well-informed and ready for more answers ensures your treatment will progress much smoother. Wound care can be a worrisome need, but with proper care from skilled professionals, this process is simple and straightforward. For more information on wound care and seeking treatment, please contact us today and begin the journey toward healing.