A wound is a break in the skin that is caused by disease, trauma, poor blood supply to the wound area, a surgical incision, poor nutrition or other causes. Most wounds heal through a natural process, however, some wounds don’t heal the way they should.
Many things can prevent a wound from healing, such as diseases (e.g., diabetes, poor blood flow or other vascular problems) medications, infections and/or poor nutrition. A wound that doesn’t heal places a person at risk for infection and more serious complications. The wound can cause discomfort, pain, scarring, and can also place limits on a person’s activities and quality of life.
The Wound Care Clinic at RAMC specializes in evaluating and treating acute and long term wounds. Individuals with Lymphedema, a chronic condition in which excess fluid collects in the tissues and causes swelling, can also be treated in the Wound Care Clinic. The Clinic is an option for anyone that needs to have their wound monitored by a specialist. It can also be for anyone who is unable to provide care to themselves or those who do not have someone else to help them care for and monitor their wound.
Clinic team members include a Wound Care Certified Physical Therapist, Registered nurses, and a certified Lymphedema Occupational Therapist. The team uses proven, advanced techniques to treat many types of wounds. The clinic is available on weekdays during regular Rehab Services hours. Weekend coverage for dressing changes can be arranged on an individual basis.
The types of wounds treated in the clinic include
- Vascular leg ulcers (caused by poor blood flow in the veins or arteries)
- Diabetic foot ulcers
- Pressure ulcers
- Surgical or traumatic wounds
- Wounds caused by edema or swelling due to cancer, radiation treatment, burns, infections and scleroderma.
In addition, a certified Lymphedema Occupational Therapist provides treatment of lymphedema. Lymphedema is swelling of an arm, leg or other body part because of an abnormal buildup of lymph fluid in the body. The therapist will provide individuals with a specialized massage technique and use compression bandaging to decrease swelling. They will also give a home program that includes massage, use of compression and simple active exercises.
The Wound Care Clinic follows national guidelines based on clinical evidence when treating and managing wounds.
The clinic offers
- State-of-the-art wound treatment such as advanced wound dressings, growth factor (to speed healing), sharp debridement, pulsed lavage, and enzymatic debridement.
- An ABI (Ankle-Brachial Index) may be completed.
- Experienced staff specially trained in all types of wound care.
- Extensive patient education to manage the care of wounds and prevent wound recurrence.
Medicare and most insurance companies cover these services; however the staff will help you in determining your individual coverage. If you feel that the Wound Care Clinic could help you contact your doctor for a referral.
If you have questions or would like more information please contact the RAMC Rehab Services Department at 768-6120.