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Need Help Healing That Wound? Read This First.

We generally expect our bodies to heal fairly quickly. When they don’t, it’s puzzling, frustrating, and potentially life-threatening. That’s when you need the Wound Healing Center.

Many people don’t know what a wound healing center is, or how to evaluate one. That’s unfortunate, because they’re not all the same. Some of them focus mostly on the mechanics of treating the wound itself. That approach is destined for failure, because there are many reasons why a wound may not want to heal properly. The work of a Wound Healing Center is as much about finding the reasons why a wound won’t heal as it is about treating the wound itself.

Chronic wound care is also an intense process. Patients typically come for weekly visits until their wound has healed. That’s a lot of visits and a big commitment.

We strongly encourage you to do your research upfront. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How far am I willing and physically able to go each week for wound care?
  • How am I going to get there? If I will need assistance each time, what is the most convenient location for me and the person helping me?
  • How far do I have to go when I need lab work or other services? Can I have a “one stop shop?”

Once you’ve answered those questions, it’s time to do take two very important steps.

First, look at the track record. Our center is staffed with a team of doctors and nurses all with advanced training healing chronic wounds. Our “median days to cure” is 26 days. This means that half of our patients are completely done with their visits in less than 26 days. Some wounds do take longer because of underlying issues. But you should ask about outcomes before you sign up. A wound center that doesn’t look holistically at the situation will not yield the best results for the patient.

Second, look at the suite of support services. A small percentage of wound care is actually about the wound itself. Most of the work centers on finding and then treating the underlying causes of a chronic wound. That can involve a host of needs, like lab, pharmacy and specialists that are best serviced by a hospital. You want your wound center to be co-located with all these other services in the same place. If it’s not, you’re going to be traipsing from place to place. That may not be feasible for you or the person providing your transportation.

NOCHS is the perfect place to have a Wound Healing Center. Why?

  • We’re located next to the Emergency Room. Many patients arrive by ambulance or ambucab. We are set up to receive patients via these modes of transportation. And since many patients end up in the ER before they seek treatment, it’s an easy transition from ER to Wound Healing Center. It also works in reverse, if infection is taking hold and the ER is the best place for the patient.
  • We have an onsite laboratory for routine testing, but also for those crisis situations when infection is a real risk and immediate test results are needed.
  • Our bariatric department can provide counseling and support if weight management is part of the solution.
  • We have an onsite pharmacy, and pharmacists who can provide in-person consultation about medicines, interactions and side effects. This is especially important when other conditions such as heart disease or high cholesterol are also being treated. We can also mix many of our own IV fluids immediately, which can be critical in the fight against infection.
  • Many chronic wounds are in the foot and ankle area. We have consulting physicians at the Wound Healing Center that also have an office on our campus.
  • Blood flow is one the most frequent issues related to chronic wounds. NOCHS has onsite cardiologists available for consultation, and also the diagnostic tools for testing.

If you thought wound care was mostly about bandages and disinfectants, it’s time to think again. A chronic wound is a serious condition, and it deserves the kind of comprehensive care and support services you can only get at a hospital such as NOCHS.

Please call your primary care physician for a referral, or contact us directly at 616.844.4900.  We’ll work with your physician to help you get the care you need.

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