For most people, healing is a natural process. The body has a wondrous capacity to heal and regenerate damaged tissue. For some, however, it develops into a complex medical problem requiring expert care. Some 5 million Americans experience chronic wounds that don’t respond to standard treatment. Healing deficiencies lead to complications, including acute pain, infection, lost function, and even amputation. Chronic wounds keep you from doing the things you love to do.
When the body’s natural healing process and standard medical treatment don’t work, people throughout the Southeast turn to the region’s first and only wound care center with nationally certified specialists and emergency care that’s available 24 hours a day. The expert medical team at Erlanger’s Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine Center specializes in treating wounds that have resisted healing after months or even years of treatment. The sophistication with which these wounds can be treated is what sets us apart.
At Erlanger’s comprehensive wound healing center, our multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, and specialists is devoted to keeping abreast of the latest advances in wound care. We balance a practical approach to wound care with progressive options such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO), a sophisticated technology that speeds the delivery of healing oxygen to the body’s tissues.
When to visit the Wound Care Center
Our philosophy at the Erlanger Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine Center is to treat wounds early and efficiently to minimize complications and optimize outcomes. Studies find that wound care centers like Erlanger’s have decreased hospital stays by 25 percent and have significantly reduced the rate of amputations.
Erlanger’s team of specialists has advanced training in therapies designed to heal wounds, including:
- Diabetic ulcers
- Arterial and venous ulcers
- Pressure sores
- Skin lacerations
- Radiation burns
- Compromised skin grafts
- Post-operative infections
- Bone infection (osteomyelitis)
- Traumatic injuries
At Erlanger, you’ll undergo a thorough evaluation and a complete history and physical exam to identify the type of wound and the underlying causes of resistance to healing. Because chronic wounds often are related to other medical conditions, we integrate wound care with your standard health care, consulting with your primary care or referring physician and providing your doctor with regular progress reports and photo documentation. With your wound care in our hands, your doctor is able to devote more time to other aspects of your care.
Members of your Erlanger medical team may include physical therapists, nutritionists, and specialists in endocrinology, orthopedics, vascular surgery, infectious disease, geriatrics, plastic surgery, and more. This multidisciplinary approach enables us to develop an individualized care plan based on the most effective treatment options.
What you need to heal
Your path to healing at the Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine Center may include:
Debridement, a minor procedure that removes dead tissue, preventing infection and producing a healthy base for the tissue to regenerate
Specialized antimicrobal and compression dressings, to prevent and treat infection, decrease swelling, and promote the growth of healthy tissue
Pressure relief, or “off-loading,” with physical aids such as custom orthopedic shoes, splints, casts, crutches, walkers, or wheelchairs
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, to speed delivery of oxygen to the body’s tissues
Nutritional counseling, to promote healing with adequate levels of nutrients
Antibiotic therapy and antibacterial ointments
X-rays, blood cultures, and other laboratory and vascular studies
Once your treatment begins, you’ll visit our center on a regular basis for wound care and documentation of the healing process. The number and frequency of your visits will depend in large part upon your body’s response to treatment.
You’ll be an important partner in your treatment plan, because your commitment is essential to the success of your wound care. Our staff will advise you on caring for your wound between visits, protecting your wound from further injury, and maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle to facilitate the healing process and prevent future wounds.
For more information, call the Erlanger Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine Center at (423) 778-5135 (Wound Care) or 778-6004 (HBO).