Many seniors find themselves dealing with chronic conditions. Chronic wounds — defined as a wound that has not healed for more than thirty days — can be especially dangerous and prove challenging to treat. Left alone, they result in pain and infection; in more extreme cases, loss of function, extremities, or life may also result. If you or a loved one suffers from chronic wounds, proper care in a clinical setting is vital. For many seniors in West Virginia, that care takes place at Princeton Health Care Center.
Wound Management Overview
Understanding why wound care is so complex starts with understanding the stages of the healing process. When you are wounded, your body’s first response is hemostasis or stopping the flow of blood through clotting and vascular constriction. This is followed in short order by inflammation, where white blood cells destroy bacteria and remove cellular debris. Specialized cells called macrophages arrive to continuing clearing debris to prevent infection and pave the way for tissue regrowth. Proliferation starts in the latter stages of the inflammation phase and continues after inflammation subsides. The vascular tissue and collagen are rebuilt and other cellular activity takes place in order to fill and cover the wound.
The last phase of wound healing is resolution, where the wound site returns to its normal state. For a minor injury, the process from hemostasis to resolution is rapid; for more severe injuries or deeper wounds, it can take a period of years.
Benefits of Wound Management
Wounds fail to heal when any of the four steps listed above is interrupted or fails to occur. This causes problems, since each step either builds on or happens concurrently with, the cellular “work” done during the others.
Advances in medicine help us better understand the way these complex systems work and interact. Age, hormones, certain medications, and a number of health conditions (cancer and diabetes among them) can interfere with these natural processes, but each can be treated with early detection and aggressive intervention. This helps individuals return to normal activities, experience less pain, and to suffer a lower incidence of infection, loss of limb, or loss of life.
Our Approach to Wound Management
There are many ways to address chronic wounds. Your healthcare provider will evaluate your case and any treatment that’s been attempted up to that point, after which they will discuss your care options. These may include hyperbaric treatments, antibiotics, surgical intervention, or other advanced techniques. Our goal at Princeton Health Care Center is to quickly return patients to the highest level of comfort and function possible.
Wound Management at Princeton Health Care Center
Chronic wounds are more than an inconvenience or quality of life issue. Left untreated, they can cause severe complications, significant suffering, and literal loss of life or limb. In much the same way that Princeton Health Care Center has remained on the leading edge of elder care in other areas — including dementia care, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and long-term care — our wound care services have made a life-altering difference for many seniors in the Princeton, WV area. If you suffer from chronic wounds, contact us today to see how we can help restore you to health.