2008-02-06 / Local News

UCMC opens wound center

Everyone has heard that time heals all wounds, but the truth is that without advanced therapies, some wounds can take years and even decades to heal, while others that do not respond to treatment may lead to amputation in extreme cases. Upstate Carolina Medical Center has opened the Advanced Healing Wound Center to offer the community state-of-the-art specialized wound care.

"With the rising rate of diabetes, there is a great need for a specialized care center that can treat the ulcers associated with the disease as well as help patients with other skin, bone and tissue conditions caused by illness or injury," Sherri Almond, R.N., the Center's Director, said. "The center's doctors and clinical staff are skilled in the latest therapeutic methods in wound management and stay abreast of cutting-edge information through continuous training. Patients will be treated with state-of-the art technology from having their progress charted through digital photographs to, in some cases, being treated in one of the center's two hyperbaric oxygen chambers."

Likely candidates for treatment are those suffering from diabetic ulcers, pressure ulcers, infections, compromised skin grafts and flaps, and wounds that haven't healed within 30 days. The center's hyperbaric oxygen chambers can also be used to treat patients suffering from such uncommon ailments as cyanide poisoning, gangrene, carbon monoxide poisoning, brown recluse spider bites, and the "bends" or decompression sickness.

Patients covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most insurance plans may self-refer to the Advanced Health Wound Center. However, one of the center's missions is to build relationships with patients' primary care physicians.

"We become a partner in the patient's medical care," said internist Howard Klickman, M.D., who serves as medical director at the center.

One of the highly specialized treatments offered at the center is hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which works by surrounding the patient with 100 percent oxygen at higher than normal atmospheric pressure. Diabetic foot wounds are an excellent example of wounds that may benefit most from this type of treatment.

For more information call the Advanced Healing Wound Center at 487-5014 located at 1445 N. Limestone St. in Gaffney.

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