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Close to 7 million Americans have a chronic wound that stems from diabetes or other causes that needs to be taken care of regularly. Many people have found that even the smallest wound can quickly turn into a big health issue if not treated properly. How can you prevent a chronic wound from becoming infected?
A new study performed by James Wilcox from Healogics (a company that runs wound care centers) and his team found that chronic wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers and pressure ulcers, may heal faster when they are frequently cleaned and regularly debrided at a wound care center.
Between the years of 2008 and 2012, a total of 313,000 patients who experienced chronic wounds, including diabetic foot and pressure ulcers, surgical wounds, and cuts from other accidents or trauma were studied. Researchers quickly found that the healing time varied by the type of wound, but they were typically faster healing when treated with frequent debridement – the removal of dead or infected tissue and any foreign bodies or bacteria from slow-healing wounds. For example, diabetic foot ulcers healed on an average of 21 days when they were debrided at least weekly – which is a significant improvement to the 76-day heal time when debrided only once every two weeks.
Bacteria can grow over wounds in colonies called biofilms, which can then infect a wound quicker than you may realize. Debridment procedures keep wounds free of those infection-causing bacterial colonies. Consequently, it has been found that patients who go to a wound care center to do this may also be more prone to sticking to other wound care recommendations (such as creams, lotions or bandages) to promote faster, better healing.
No one likes a wound that won’t heal. It can be painful, and an infected wound can lead to serious health consequences. Help keep your wound from getting infected by getting regular care from your healthcare provider and diligently following wound care recommendations.