Comprehensive Wound Healing Center Takes Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Healing and Prevention

November 10, 2008

Move Marks Another Exciting Advance for the Wound Healing Center

The wound care program at Floyd Memorial began in 1996 in response to a need that became apparent after the opening of the hospital’s Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate. The rate of amputation for people with diabetes is ten times that of people without diabetes, and amputation is often the result of a foot wound that will not heal. To help prevent this, the hospital opened a high-risk foot clinic.

Over the years, the clinic grew to the point where the staff was also seeing many wounds in people who did not have diabetes. Last year marked the opening of the comprehensive Wound Healing Center. Now, the program is again expanding to include hyperbaric oxygen therapy. To accommodate this new service and provide more space to treat patients, the center has relocated to a larger facility on the Floyd Memorial campus. The Center’s new home is off State Street where the Emergency Center was previously located.

Team Treats All Types of Wounds

The team at the Center treats patients with all types of wounds including: diabetic ulcers; pressure ulcers; venous stasis ulcers (common in people with severe varicose veins or blood clots); ischemic ulcers (caused by poor blood supply); vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels in patients with conditions such as arthritis); traumatic and surgical wounds; spider and animal bites; ulcers brought on by chemotherapy; and non-healing sores in patients with skin cancer.

Multidisciplinary Approach Is a Tremendous Benefit to Patients

“We are excited to offer such a high level of multidisciplinary care,” said Rodney Chou, MD, a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation and medical director of the Center. “The Center brings together the expertise of a team of physicians, nurses and other experts from a variety of fields who focus on the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic wounds. It gives patients access to all the specialties needed to receive the best possible program of care.” For example, a wound that won’t heal due to poor circulation may benefit from the care of a vascular surgeon who can open up a blocked artery and restore healthy blood flow to the area. Another wound may need the care of a plastic surgeon who can perform a skin graft.

The nurses at the Center all have advanced training in wound healing. Kathy Nugent, RN, CWOCN, is a certified wound ostomy nurse. “The Center makes comprehensive care easily accessible to patients. They don’t need a physician referral, but can simply call us to make an appointment if they have a wound that concerns them.”

Another area involved in patient care is physical therapy. Tom Russell is the director of rehabilitation services at Floyd Memorial and the hospital’s liaison to the Wound Healing Center. “There are many ways physical therapy can be part of the healing process,” he explained. “One is when wounds on the feet or legs require the patient to be immobile for several weeks. That patient will need to build up his balance and strength, and rehab is beneficial. We also work with the Center when patients need certain devices or orthotics.”

“With our multidisciplinary team and new facility,” said Dr. Chou, “we are becoming the area’s preeminent wound care center.”