Caring for chronic wounds with Northwest Texas Healthcare System

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NWTH Hyperbaric Certified Nurse, Shauna Webster, RN, sits down with Today in Amarillo’s Jason Britsch to talk about chronic wound care awareness. 

What wounds are considered chronic wounds? They are wounds that are not healing after 30 days. Etiologies are Diabetic ulcers of the lower extremity and feet, venous ulcerations, pressure ulcers, arterial ulcers, autoimmune disorders, and some cancers to name a few.

How do you treat chronic wounds? NWTH treats first with the cause, the etiology. They use clinical standards of care and evidenced-based medicine along with advanced modalities to direct the care they give to each patient and each wound individually to help them heal.

Advanced modalities used at NWTH: Debridement to remove dead tissue, diagnostics to determine infection and ABX if needed. They also use advanced dressings, total contact casting for offloading, skin substitutes, and Hyperbaric therapy.

Hyperbaric therapy is a chamber that a patient goes into that is pressurized at 2.0-2.4 atmospheres of pressure. The pt breaths 100% oxygen which helps with collagen formation and angiogenesis (the building of new tissue and blood vessels). It acts as a bactericide for certain susceptible bacteria. It increases the concentration of the dissolved oxygen in the blood which augments oxygenation to all parts of the body.

Hyperbaric therapy treats diabetic wounds of the lower extremity that reaches deeper structures, chronic osteomyelitis (bone infections) Radiation injuries, Failing skin grafts.

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