Injury and Wound Care FAQs

Wound Care Questions & Answers

Any injury or wound can cause significant distress, both physical and emotional, to any person. Proper treatment and care for your wound will determine how fast it heals and how quickly you can return to your normal routine and activities. Learn the answers to several frequently asked questions about injury and wound care.

Negative pressure wound therapy is a therapeutic technique that uses vacuum-assisted drainage methods to remove blood or fluid from the site of a wound. Generally, it’s performed using a pump to create a negative pressure environment in the wound, which can help promote faster healing. 

There are many types of advanced techniques used to treat and care for wounds. One of the more successful treatment options is hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which involves breathing pure oxygen. Mercy also offers physical and occupational therapy to assist with wound care. 

Red light therapy (RLT) is a therapeutic technique that uses low-level wavelengths of light to treat wounds and other conditions. While some studies have shown that RLT might be a promising new treatment, more evidence is needed to determine its overall effectiveness.  

A wound vac, also known as a vacuum-assisted closure of a wound, is a type of treatment that helps wounds heal faster. It removes air pressure from the surface of our bodies, which pulls fluid away from a wound over time.  

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a treatment that involves breathing pure oxygen in a special room or chamber. It’s mainly used in treating diving-related illnesses, but can also be used to promote healing in patients with various conditions. 

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) exposes the body to 100% oxygen at a pressure that’s greater than normal. Since wounds need oxygen to heal completely, HBOT can assist in speeding recovery times in patients. 

It depends. Medicare may cover expenses related to hyperbaric oxygen therapy in certain cases. Check with your insurance provider before having any procedure to see if you’re covered.  

The immediate side effects and symptoms of hyperbaric oxygen therapy can include tiredness and lightheadedness. More serious and long-lasting side effects can include lung damage, oxygen poisoning and sinus damage. 

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is most commonly used to treat decompression sickness, which most often occurs in people who scuba dive. It can also be used to treat infections, air bubbles in your blood vessels and wounds from diabetes or radiation. 

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can increase the amount of oxygen your bloodstream can carry. This can promote healing and better help your body fight off infectious diseases. HBOT can be used to treat burns, vision loss and carbon monoxide poisoning. However, there’s limited evidence to suggest HBOT is effective in reversing the effects of cancer, heart disease or asthma. 

You should keep the bandages on your surgical wound for a few days following your procedure. Bandages help keep the affected area free of infection during the healing process. Your Mercy doctor will give you more detailed instructions about proper bandage care. 

To clean the area around your surgical wound, use cloth or gauze soaked in soapy water. Carefully clean the area by dabbing around your wound with your cloth or gauze. Your Mercy doctor will have more exact directions on how to properly care for your surgical wound following your procedure. 

Typical signs and symptoms of a surgical wound infection include: 


  • Redness
  • Slow healing
  • Accompanying fever
  • Persistent pain
  • Swelling
  • Pus or discharge coming from the surgical site

Wound drainage is a natural part of any healing process following your surgery. Most fluid drainage should lessen over the course of several days. There are a few different kinds of drainage that can occur, so you should talk with your Mercy doctor about what to expect after your surgery.