Your Healthy Family: What are chronic wounds - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Your Healthy Family: What are chronic wounds

Chronic wounds can plague the elderly and even leading in some cases to amputation. Chronic wounds can plague the elderly and even leading in some cases to amputation.

Chronic wounds can plague the elderly and even lead in some cases to amputation.  Karlene Wood is a registered nurse with Interim Healthcare in Colorado Springs.  Karlene is board certified in wound care and hopes to make more people aware of how to prevent chronic wounds.

Karlene says, “Chronic wounds are considered wounds that don't heal in the normal process.  Usually in twelve weeks most wounds are healed and closed.  Chronic wounds get stuck, they don't continue healing for a variety of reasons.”

Chronic wounds are a problem that is growing in the United States and affects millions of people says Karlene.  “6.7 million people in the U.S. are affected each year, and that number is increasing.  Chronic wound care has turned into about a $50 billion dollar a year industry to heal chronic wounds across the country.”

The problem of chronic wounds is growing, despite advances in wound care.  Karlene recalls how it use to be done, “We were treating wounds with lights and betadine, and milk of magnesia.  That sounds terrible but that's all we knew.  Now wound care has improved.  There has been a lot of research, and advance research.  Now we know what's happening in the wound at the cellular level.  We know that the body needs a lot of protein to heal a wound.  One of the things that we talk about our patients about is making sure they have a good diet.  We work with our therapists, both physical and occupational because patients need to be more mobile.  As they increase their endurance and mobility that helps wounds heal with proper circulation.”

Karlene hopes raising awareness can turn the tide and begin to reduce the amount of chronic injuries our loved ones may experience as they age.  Chronic wounds are just one of the many issues our senior population may have to deal with, but they don’t have to do it alone.

“There is all kinds of social work that will help in getting other services and other support to folks, like Meals on Wheels.  The community resources in Colorado Springs are vast but many times people don't know what they are.”

If you have any questions feel free to give Karlene a call at Interim Healthcare at (719) 632-9900.  In the coming months we'll be talking more about specific chronic wounds the steps that need to be taken to deal with them and prevent them.

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