Throughout our lives, we experience plenty of cuts and scrapes. These injuries typically undergo multiple stages of healing, returning to a healthy state over the course of weeks or months. But sometimes, health risk factors can cause a wound to heal extremely slowly or stop the healing process altogether. These are chronic wounds, and they require specialized care to prevent future health complications.

Chronic wounds and their causes

A chronic wound is any wound that stalls during the normal healing process. Chronic wounds, or non-healing wounds, remain open and have no improvement for longer than a month. Chronic wounds affect more than 8 million people in the U.S.

What causes a non-healing wound? Some health conditions slow or stop the healing process, like:

  • Poor blood circulation
  • Infection
  • Autoimmune disease or weakened immune system
  • Tobacco or alcohol use
  • Obesity
  • Poor nutrition
  • Sedentary lifestyle

Because these wounds are a symptom of an underlying condition, they don’t heal unless the underlying causes are properly managed. It takes a team, including the patient, to heal.

Chronic wound treatment at Parkridge Health

Your wound care team

At Parkridge Medical Center’s Advanced Wound Care Center, the wound care team consists of a provider and nurses specialized in wound care. This team works with the patient and their existing healthcare provider, and they may also coordinate with several other specialists, like cardiology, to address the underlying conditions and heal the wound.

Our multi-disciplinary wound care program features a comprehensive evaluation by one of our healthcare providers to develop an individualized care plan. A case manager is also assigned to help patients and their families with communication. No matter which of our wound care centers you visit, the Parkridge Health wound care team looks at the patient holistically, and the advanced treatments are evidence-based and patient-focused.

It might be time to visit our wound care center if you have any of the following non-healing wounds:

  • Diabetes-related wounds
  • Pressure injuries
  • Venous ulcers
  • Traumatic wounds
  • Compromised surgical wounds
  • Burns
  • Other chronic non–healing wounds

Our wound treatment program

The goal of our Advanced Wound Care & Vascular Center is to help our patients return to a normal lifestyle. By combining our team of dedicated healthcare providers with our advanced treatment options, we can heal wounds that have resisted traditional treatments for months or even years. We will diagnose the type of wound you have and the underlying problem causing the wound. The coordinated use of clinical treatments, medicines, dressings and support services to treat wounds has proven to be highly effective to facilitate the healing process.

Limb preservation

For patients with lower-leg wounds, the wound care team’s focus is limb preservation. Limb preservation (sometimes called limb salvage) focuses not only on preventing amputations of the lower extremities, but it also prioritizes wound healing, preventing and resolving infection, as well as mitigating any future wounds.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

The wound care team uses advanced wound care treatments. One advanced form, which can be found at our Advanced Wound Care and Vascular Center, is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT). HBOT is the administration of 100% oxygen in a safe, pressurized environment. When you combine pressure and oxygen, the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream increases. The therapy works throughout the entire body as the increased levels of oxygen enter the bloodstream and tissue to promote the healing of chronic wounds. The amount of time each treatment takes depends on the individual, usually lasting approximately two hours and given five days a week.

Other advanced treatments may include the following:

  • Negative pressure wound therapy
  • Cellular tissue products
  • Compression
  • Vascular interventions
  • Offloading
  • Nutrition counseling

At Parkridge Health, we take wound care very seriously. If you or a loved one are experiencing a chronic wound, schedule an appointment or get more information by calling (423) 242-2500.