Your Health: Special facilities for healing wounds

DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - Most of us have taken care of our own cuts and scrapes.  But did you know there are some wounds that do not want to heal?

The wounds can be challenging - even for physicians.  That's why there are specialty facilities and doctors to handle these needs.

"I fell down some stairs and hit something.  I don't know what it was.  But it was real bad bruising," said Eveline Millican, a patient.

Millican is in the final stages of her treatment for a wound that had trouble healing.

"It had a big blood blister come up on it and it bursted, and that's when the skin broke and that's when the trouble started," said Millican.

As R.N. Kara Smith bandages the wound, she shows us how large and deep it was. It took a couple of surgeries and specific treatments to get to this stage.

Millican said it hurt to the bone.

"It had a deep hole in it.  It was black and the tissue around it was black. I was scared.  I was really afraid I was going to lose my leg," she said.

And for those wounds that don't want to heal right away, there are specialists to make sure that wound is properly taken care of.

Millican's family doctor sent her to the Wound Care and Infusion Center.

"What a wound care center provides is constant attention to that problem and people who are knowledgeable about treating the wounds and the appropriate instruments, facilities, whatever to help heal the wounds.  Mostly it's attention, though," said Parkway Wound Care Specialist, Dr. Robert Walker.

We asked him about the latest treatments for wounds that won't heal.

"Silver is a popular agent to use for its antibacterial effect. Negative pressure is also popular, like wound vacs to apply negative pressure to wounds. That's a popular thing," he said.

Another method keeps the wound moist, rather than drying it out.

And there are certain patients who have a hard time with wounds.  Some have hardening of the arteries.

"But also patients with arterial ischemia, in other words inadequate blood flow or inadequate oxygen to tissues," said Dr. Walker.

Other problems could involve bed sores and people with diabetes.

"Diabetics are notorious for injuring their feet, because they can't feel their feet," he said.

He said often the tissue dies and the patient doesn't know it.

That's why specialized facilities like this one are crucial for Your Health.

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