Wound Care

Wound Care

Stephen H. Levine, MD, F.A.C.S.,CWSP

Call 386.425.4267 to schedule an appointment.

Approximately 6.7 million Americans, especially those suffering from diabetes, have wounds that won't heal, or fail to improve in a timely manner. Non-healing wounds cause pain, suffering and often loss of function. Wounds when treated by a team specializing in wound care heal faster and the cost of care is reduced.  Halifax Health – Center for Advanced Wound Healing offers a structured, multi-disciplinary approach from a team of experienced physicians, registered nurses, and technicians.  We work with your primary care physician to identify and manage underlying medical conditions that contribute to non-healing wounds through thorough assessments, ongoing evaluations and patient education.

 Our wound care facility is staffed with doctors and specially trained nurses who are in office 5 days a week. 

 In our Wound Care Facility, we provide:

  • Advanced wound care
  • Wound debridement
  • Skin graft placement

Wound Causes and Types

Wounds occur when the skin is broken or damaged because of injury. Causes of injury may be the result of mechanical, chemical, electrical, thermal, or nuclear sources. The skin can be damaged in a variety of ways depending upon the mechanism of injury.

  • Inflammation is the skin’s initial response to injury.
  • Superficial (on the surface) wounds and abrasions leave the deeper skin layers intact. These types of wounds are usually caused by friction rubbing against an abrasive surface.
  • Deep abrasions (cuts or lacerations) go through all the layers of the skin and into underlying tissue like muscle or bone.
  • Puncture wounds are usually caused by a sharp pointed object entering the skin. Examples of puncture wounds include a needle stick, stepping on a nail, or a stab wound with a knife.
  • Human and animal bites can be classified as puncture wounds, abrasions, or a combination of both.
  • Pressure sores (bed sores) can develop due to lack of blood supply to the skin caused by chronic pressure on an area of the skin (for example, a person who is bedridden, sits for long hours in a wheelchair, or a cast pressing on the skin). Individuals with diabetes, circulation problems (peripheral vascular disease), or malnutrition are at an increased risk of pressure sores.

Proper wound care is necessary to prevent infection, assure there are no other associated injuries, and to promote healing of the skin. An additional goal, if possible, is to have a good cosmetic result after the wound has completely healed.

  • The most common symptoms of a wound are pain, swelling, and bleeding. The amount of pain, swelling, and bleeding of a wound depends upon the location of the injury and the mechanism of injury.
  • Some large lacerations may not hurt very much if they are located in an area that has few nerve endings, while abrasions of fingertips (which have a greater number of nerves) can be very painful.
  • Some lacerations may bleed more if the area involved has a greater number of blood vessels, for example, the scalp and face.

When to Seek Medical Care for a Wound

Most wounds can be treated at home with routine first aid including thorough washing and dressing to prevent infection. Some of the following are reasons medical care should be obtained for a wound:

  • If the wound is due to significant force or trauma and other injures are be present.
  • If bleeding cannot be stopped even with persistent pressure and elevation.
  • If there is concern that wound requires repair with sutures (stitches). The size and location of the wound are important considerations. Most facial wounds may need to be repaired for cosmetic reasons, especially if they involve the lip or eye.
  • If the wound is caused by an animal bite. There is also a need to consider rabies immunizations, if appropriate.
  • If the wound is very dirty and cannot be easily cleaned.
  • If there is evidence of infection including redness, swelling, increased pain, and pus at the wound. 

Non-healing Wounds

  • A wound that has not improved after one month
  • A leg or foot ulcer resulting from poor circulation
  • A non-healing incision or injury
  • A sore caused by sustained pressure
  • Diabetic nerve damage with a wound

Treatments

  • Patient and wound assessment
  • Measurement and photographic documentation
  • Initial and ongoing reports to primary care physician
  • Debridement to aid in the removal of infected, damaged or dead tissue by surgical or alternative means
  • Laboratory and vascular evaluation
  • Advanced biological grafts
  • Advanced wound dressings
  • Prosthetic and pressure relief assistance
  • Wound VAC
  • Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Conditions

  • Arterial ulcers
  • Diabetic and neuropathic ulcers
  • Venous stasis ulcers
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Problem surgical wounds
  • Trauma wounds