As many as 5 million Americans suffer daily with a chronic or non-healing wound that keeps them from enjoying their favorite activities or even performing simple tasks such as walking or bathing. Chronic wounds are more than a bother; they can lead to infection, tissue loss, or loss of an extremity such as a foot or leg. The right treatment is necessary and with modern therapeutic treatment, most patients experience successful healing and are able to return to work and leisure activities.
Our team will carefully evaluate patient’s wound(s) and overall health status at the first appointment. Based on the information gathered, our team of physicians and nurses will work with the primary care physician to develop a customized treatment plan. This will typically include a series of appointments at one of the Mercy Wound Centers, plus special dressings or bandages and detailed instructions on home care. Progress will be carefully monitored with examinations, photographs and measurements. Adjustments to treatment plans are made as needed to ensure the best possible healing.
In addition, we will explain how patients can care for their wound at home, including:
Non-healing wounds can result from diabetes, immobilization, poor circulation, pressure or other conditions, and healing may be complex due to infection, anemia or use of steroids, smoking and obesity. Any wound that has not had significant improvement in two weeks would be appropriate for a consultation at Mercy Wound Care Center. These may include the following:
Wounds with the following signs or symptoms should be addressed immediately, especially if the patient is a diabetic:
If you are a diabetic with a non-healing wound or a cancer patient who has undergone radiation therapy, you may benefit from Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT). HBOT is a non-invasive medical treatment that delivers oxygen at much higher than normal atmospheric pressure, increasing the amount of oxygen being carried by the body to organs and tissues, thereby enhancing the body’s ability to heal itself. Our Fort Smith Wound Center features two hyperbaric chambers used for wound care, healing diabetic wounds, injured tissue from cancer radiation therapy, crush injuries from trauma and carbon monoxide positioning. Referrals for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can be arranged from any of the Mercy Wound Care locations.
Lymphedema occurs when the lymphatic system does not work properly and results in chronic swelling of one or more body parts. The goal of Lymphedematherapy is to reduce swelling and move the flow of lymphatic fluid into the venous circulation. Various treatments are used in Mercy Wound Centers for Lymphedema including compression, skin hygiene, Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) and Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT). While most cases of Lymphedema can be managed in the Mercy Wound Care Centers, if needed, advanced Lymphedema referrals can be arranged from any of the Mercy Wound Care locations to Mercy Therapy Services for Lymphedema treatment.
Patients with diabetes have a 25% risk of developing a diabetic foot ulcer in their lifetime. Our team of wound care and hyperbaric physicians, nurses and medical professionals who specialize in wound care/diabetic care, work closely with the patient’s existing healthcare provider to develop a customized treatment plan for diabetic wounds to ensure optimal healing. Treatments include: