Healing: one wound at a time

Adkins

One of the biggest health issues we see today in our nation, our state and also in our community is the obesity epidemic and the increase in diabetes among our friends, family members and neighbors.

At Parkview Noble Hospital we are trying very diligently to combat this epidemic through community education and wellness initiatives. Once a person is diagnosed with diabetes, we have a diabetes educator, dietitians, classes and support groups to help them keep their blood sugar numbers on track and avoid complications.

Another big concern for people with diabetes is difficulty with circulation and the healing of sores or wounds. Due to poor circulation and uncontrolled blood sugars, many people with diabetes who get a sore or a wound find it difficult to heal.

The Parkview Noble Hospital Center for Wound Healing opened at the end of 2015 and offers state-of-the-art wound care and hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy for chronic, non-healing wounds. The most common type of wounds treated by the center since its opening have been diabetic foot ulcers.

The center treats a wide variety of wounds, such as the diabetic foot ulcers, pressure ulcers, radiation injuries and more. The center’s comprehensive approach to wound management is a physician-driven, multi-disciplinary program that coordinates the critical resources required for the evaluation and treatment of the patients who experience difficult-to-heal wounds.

Each patient is assessed and receives an individual wound care plan. Patient care may involve local wound debridement (removal of dead tissues), specialized topical wound care, local edema control, local and systemic antimicrobial therapy, revascularization or angioplasty, bioengineered tissue grafts and dermal substitutes, negative pressure therapy, and off-loading and protection.

The wound care team is highly-specialized and has completed accredited training by the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Society (UHMS). The latest in bioengineered tissue grafting technology is available at Parkview Noble.

One local patient who had great success at the Center for Wound Healing was Matthew Delcamp. He was working long hours at a job he loved at Nishikawa Standard Company, better known as NISCO, in Topeka. Matthew had been on the job five months when he noticed a blister on his foot, caused by his new work boots. When the blister burst on June 12, he had it checked by a physician. By mid-July, it had gotten worse and his foot and ankle had swollen and turned purple. When Matthew went to the emergency room he was diagnosed with a diabetic ulcer that had become infected at the bone.

The diabetic ulcer was quickly worsening and becoming necrotic (the tissues in the area were dying). Dr. Matthew Grothaus, an orthopedic surgeon at Parkview Noble, performed two operations on Matthew’s foot by the end of July to remove the necrotic tissue and clean the wound, which was now open to the bone.

Over the next few months, Matthew found himself in intensive outpatient care that required him to spend up to 12 hours at Parkview Noble each day. His typical day started at 8 a.m. with almost three hours of antibiotic infusions. At 11:30, he would “dive” in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber for about two hours. His doctors and nurses at the Center for Wound Healing would meet with him to examine his healing progress, then clean and dress his wounds before heading home in time to spend a few hours with his children and make dinner for the family. At 7 p.m. he would be back in the hospital for another antibiotic infusion.

Matthew also received assistance through the Parkview Noble Foundation which helped him through his months of treatment. The foundation supports Parkview Noble’s diabetes services, medication assistance transportation assistance and more — some of the services that helped Matthew during this difficult time.

Matthew was very thankful that the Center for Wound Healing and orthopedic physician, Dr. Grothaus, were at Parkview Noble, only a few miles from his home. It relieved much of his worry that he could manage his family time and transportation, by having the important services of the wound center right here in Noble County.

The final steps in Matthew’s wound care journey included a skin graft and a few more follow-up “dives” in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber.

Parkview Noble is proud to provide patients like Matthew and our entire community the highly-specialized care that many patients require to heal their chronic and serious wounds.

Gary Adkins, president of Parkview Noble Hospital, Kendallville, can be contacted at PNHCS@parkview.com.

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