Wound Specialists Make Healing House Calls

Treatments from experienced staff mend stubborn leg laceration in days.

Like most mothers, Barbara Wynne rode a roller-coaster of emotions on the day she first dropped off one of her children at college. Never having gone to college herself, she was excited for her daughter. At the same time, she was apprehensive, even fearful.

“I felt as if I was abandoning her,” Barbara remembers.

That feeling never disappeared. Not until Barbara retired and moved to the college town that her daughter made home following graduation. Before long, the rest of Barbara’s children followed their mother and sister’s lead and moved there as well.

“Now we’re all together here in Gainesville,” Barbara beams. “My son, in fact, lives just three doors down from me. It’s kind of funny how we all gravitated to the same place. But it’s nice that we’re all close to each other again, and we love it here.”

Not long ago, Barbara needed the support of her family and others after a stumble in the bathroom left her with a sizeable gash in her right shin. Being diabetic, she never expected the wound to heal quickly, but when it failed to mend at all she became concerned.

“I originally hurt myself in January,” says Barbara, who recently celebrated her 80th birthday. “I tripped while stepping out of the shower and cut my right shin on the metal trim on the shower door. The cut went all the way to the bone.”

The jagged nature of the wound prevented physicians from closing it with stitches, so Barbara was advised to seek treatment at an area wound center. She followed that advice, but the facility’s best efforts proved frustratingly futile.

“I went to the wound center for treatment once a week for 10 weeks, but even after all that, my wound wasn’t getting any better.” Barbara laments. “It seemed as if it wasn’t healing at all, so I asked if I could see a doctor.

“Unfortunately, there are no doctors at the wound center. They only have nurse practitioners, so I stuck it out for another seven weeks, but the wound never began to heal properly. After that, I went back to my primary care doctor to see what he had to say.”

Surprised by the lack of improvement, the doctor recommended she seek help from Advanced Wound, Ostomy and Continence Care, a team of dedicated nurses that specializes in the care of wounds and even makes house calls.

“When my doctor told me that the nurses at Advanced Wound, Ostomy and Continence Care make house calls, I was ecstatic,” Barbara raves. “I thought, Well how convenient is that? So, I called them up to see what they could do for me.”

50 Years of Experience

The four nurses at Advanced Wound, Ostomy and Continence care boast more than 50 years of combined experience in providing wound care, ostomy care, dermatological care, continence care and education.

“We are a patient-centered practice that uses evidence-based modalities in the treatment of our patients,” says team member Kristi Lord, DNP, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, CWS.

“We treat venous leg ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, pressure ulcers and all other kinds of wounds. There is absolutely nothing on your body that we won’t try to fix if it has something to do with the skin or excretion.

“I say that because wounds and excretion are very correlated. If you don’t properly rid your body of its waste, your wounds are not going to heal, or you’re going to get wounds you didn’t have before.

“So, our goal is to help people live comfortably, and in terms of our continence care, we mainly instruct our patients on ways to improve that issue through pelvic floor exercises, therapy and education.”

Barbara first contacted Advanced Wound, Ostomy and Continence Care in May. Within days, Kristi was at Barbara’s home evaluating her wound. That assessment revealed several reasons why the wound wasn’t healing.

“When I first visited Barbara, her wound was about 1 inch wide and 2½ inches long,” Kristi reports. “It was shaped like a comet, and the main reason it wasn’t healing was because there was a lot of dead tissue in the wound bed.

“Another reason was because she had edema, which is swelling in the legs. Edema leads to poor circulation, which inhibits healing and can lead to a lot of other comorbidities including ulcers, dermatitis, varicose veins, pain and resting pain which is pain that you get even when you lie down or put your legs up. That’s why edema management is paramount in healing a wound in the lower leg.”

Edema management typically calls for patients to wear compressions stockings or use compression pumps to reduce swelling while also reducing salt intake and elevating the legs whenever possible.

That Was Fast

Barbara began following that regimen more closely after meeting with Kristi, who treated the wound with a combination of collagen and cadexomer iodine formulated to break down the necrotic tissue and bacteria that prevents healing.

Kristi adds that an integral part of the healing process is surgical debridement, which is the removal of necrotic or infected tissue.

“I most commonly use a circle-shaped scalpel that protects the patient from injury,” she says. “I use that to scrape away the dead tissue that remains after the dressing has been removed. You do that to ensure the wound is as granulated as possible before applying the next dressing, because that gives that next dressing the most hope of success.”

“I think about how lucky I was to find this group of nurses that can treat wounds like this.” – Barbara

Within a week, Barbara was seeing a positive change in the wound’s size and appearance. After three weeks of treatment every few days, the wound had closed and healed completely.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Barbara exudes. “When Kristi started treating me, I didn’t expect a miracle to happen. But she did things they didn’t do at the wound center, and it made all the difference in the world.

“When I think back on it, I think about how lucky I was to find this group of nurses that can treat wounds like this. There aren’t many places like that. Others need to know about it because these people are special.

“I absolutely recommend Advanced Wound, Ostomy and Continence Care to anyone who has a problem like mine. I will add that Kristi has a great way of dealing with people that makes you feel better the first time you talk to her.

“It didn’t take me long to realize just how valuable she is, and I can’t say enough good things about her and all that Advanced Wound, Ostomy and Continence Care has done for me.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. mkb
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