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HEALTHBEAT 4: MercyOne Siouxland’s Wound Care Center

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(KTIV) -- Wounds are common a thing many of us experience. For most of us, our wounds will heal on their own. But, others may have ones that turn more serious.

That's where MeryOne Siouxland's Wound Care Center comes in.

MercyOne Siouxland's Wound Care Center sees patients with all kinds of wounds from head-to-toe. That can include surgical wounds that don't heal right.

"Probably our two largest patient volumes are leg ulcers from people with Venustatis. As we get older, the vessels in the legs become incompetent and the legs become swollen and then they have ulceration," said Michael Garrett, a nurse practioner at the MercyOne Sioux Wound Care Center. "That's probably the number one. And the number two is the diabetic patients with their ulcers."

Garrett says when someone is sent to the Wound Center, they do a thorough assessment

"When a patient comes to our clinic we start off with an aggressive head-to-toe assessment. We evaluate the blood flow for any wound because if you can't get blood flow to it, it's not going to heal. We also manage infection, if there is an infection in the wound," said Garrett.

So why would someone be sent there?

"Once they've had 2 weeks or 4 weeks go by, and the wound isn't healing, they'll send them to the wound center. We have many advanced modalities to help these wounds heal," said Garrett.

Those treatments include the hyperbolic chamber. But different wounds, have different treatments.

"Such as a large wound may have underlying or depth, you have to come up with a dressing plan that's going to fill all of those cavities or voids. Wounds have to heal from the bottom out so any wound that has depth, you have to treat it aggressively," said Garrett.

How long does the healing process usually last? Garrett says that depends on the type of wound and if the patient has a chronic illness such as diabetes.

"So let's say for instance you cut yourself, you're in the kitchen, you're slicing a tomato, you anticipate just like a papercut, that wound is going to heal in a day or a couple of days. that's an acute wound. but when a wound becomes chronic and it's been around for weeks and it's been contaminated and potentially infected, those wounds have a different healing mechanism and become much slower in their progress," said Garrett.

Garrett says he always tells patients to trust the healing process and to not rush it.

Garrett says the COVID-19 Pandemic has impacted the number of people they've been seeing. Before they could see around 30 to 40 people a day.

But because many surgeries were canceled, and a number of those patients can often end up in the wound center, their numbers have been down just a bit.

Michaela Feldmann

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