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Treating Diabetic Wounds and Helping them Heal Quicker

Posts Tagged ‘wound care’

Treating Diabetic Wounds and Helping them Heal Quicker

Posted on: June 9th, 2022 by Jason Miller No Comments

At Encompass Healthcare, Dr. Bruce Ruben and his team of wound doctors treat diabetic wounds on a daily basis.

We see a lot of different types of non-healing wounds from patients with Diabetes and we’re asked how to help these wounds heal (and how to help diabetic wounds heal quicker). Here are some treatment processes you can do at home to ensure these wounds do not become bigger health concerns.

First, and very importantly, find any cuts you have, including scrapes, and treat these wounds immediately.

If you treat new wounds right away, you can start caring for them before things get bad.

As soon as you find a cut or sore:

+Wash your hands with soap and water.
+Rinse off the wound with warm water.
+Apply pressure to stop any bleeding.
+Apply antibiotic cream and cover with a bandage.

Also, if you don’t know you have a wound, you can’t treat it quickly. So if you suffer from neuropathy, keep an eye out for new wounds. Check your hands and feet daily, and don’t forget to check between your toes.

Wearing white athletic socks can help, too. If you see a red spot or a place where your sock is sticking to your skin, check your foot to see if you have a wound that’s new or not healing.

Take pressure off the area – if your wound continues to reopen or experience damage, it won’t heal quickly and may get much worse. So avoid putting stress, pressure and weight on wounds.

It can be difficult for some wounds like ones on your feet. If you need help, talk to your doctor about ways to protect your wounds while maintaining mobility. Special shoes and customized foot padding are common options.

Keep your wound clean and covered with the right dressings

Wounds heal best when they are clean and moist. So it’s important to get them clean and covered right away. If you have a new scrape or cut, a basic bandage and antibiotic cream should work just fine.

But if you have wounds that are infected, slow healing or more serious, make an appointment with a doctor to learn what the best wound care is for you. Your doctor will likely recommend different types of diabetic wound care dressings to protect the injury and promote healing.

 

Common types of dressings for diabetic wound care:

Foam dressings – Extremely soft and absorbent, foam dressings are used for wounds that leak or ooze a lot. They also offer added cushioning which can help protect the wound against physical damage.

Alginate dressing – These types of dressings are primarily made from seaweed. They can hold up to twenty times their weight in moisture, making them a great choice for deep wounds and ones with discharge. Another advantage of alginate dressings is that they prevent the growth of new bacteria.

Hydrogel dressings – Hydrogel is a water-based gel designed to keep an area moist. If your wound is dry or covered in dead skin, your doctor may recommend a hydrogel dressing to provide moisture. This can help break down dead tissue and promote cell growth. These types of dressings usually aren’t used for infected wounds.

What happens if diabetic sores or wounds are left untreated?

Wounds tend to heal more quickly with care and attention. But when you live with diabetes, everyday wounds are more likely to turn serious when they stick around for too long.

 

Foot ulcers or wounds

If foot wounds are left untreated, they may turn into foot ulcers, which are often called diabetic foot sores. About 20-25% of people with diabetes will get a foot ulcer at some point in their life.

Here’s how foot ulcers develop:

  1. The foot forms a callus.
  2. The callus receives ongoing damage. Most often, this happens when a person has neuropathy and can’t feel when their foot is hurt.
  3. Since the damaged callus isn’t treated when it should be, the skin erodes, leading to an ulcer.

Most foot ulcers are on the ball of your foot, often near your big toe. A foot ulcer looks like a red sore. If there’s pus and the wound smells badly, it may be infected.

If you have a foot ulcer, you should talk to your doctor. If it’s infected, you should make an appointment with your primary care doctor as soon as possible.

Foot ulcers can take a long time to heal – about three months – and you’ll need to check in frequently with a doctor to make sure that the healing process stays on track. In some cases, you may need special shoes to reduce pressure on the wound.

While this may all seem like a lot of work, there’s a reason to stick with it. If your foot ulcer doesn’t heal, it can turn into something more serious, possibly even the loss of a limb.

Gangrene – Gangrene occurs when body tissue dies – Fortunately, this condition isn’t common. But it’s something to watch for, because it can cause serious issues if not caught and treated early.

Gangrene often begins with an infected wound. It usually starts in a certain area like a finger or toe, and then can spread over time. If the infection remains untreated for too long, the surrounding tissues can start to die.

 

Signs to watch for include:

  • A reddish line around the wound, becomes black
  • Loss of sensation around the wound
  • Skin that has turned an unusual color, such as red, blue, bronze or greenish-black
  • Wounds that repeatedly reappear in the same place

If you think you have gangrene, you should get medical help right away. Your doctor will remove the affected tissue and repair the area, possibly with a skin graft. Infection will be treated with antibiotics.

If gangrene isn’t treated soon enough, the result can be amputation. The doctor may need to remove a finger or a toe to keep the gangrene from spreading – and if there’s a lot of dead tissue, they may need to remove an arm or leg. In some cases, gangrene can be fatal, so make sure to get treatment at the earliest sign of this condition.

 

Osteomyelitis – Infected wounds can infect your bones, causing a condition called osteomyelitis. If bone infections aren’t treated, parts of your bones can die. Symptoms to look for include:

  1. Fever
  2. Swelling and redness
  3. Skin that’s hot to the touch
  4. Pain or tenderness
  5. Yellowish pus coming through your skin

If you think you have a bone infection, make an appointment with your primary care doctor. There are effective treatments for osteomyelitis, but they work best when the infection is caught early.

Encompass Healthcare and Wound Medicine offers advanced treatments for severe and chronic diabetic wounds.

A Hospital-Type Environment with Hospital-Level Equipment, Without the Risks Of Being In the Hospital

Posted on: October 11th, 2021 by Encompass Healthcare No Comments

Encompass HealthCare & Wound Medicine in West Bloomfield, Michigan is Metro Detroit’s only full-service wound healing & infection facility, offering patients everything possible for healing under one roof. Dr. Bruce Ruben launched Encompass HealthCare to offer patients a hospital-type environment with hospital-level equipment, without the risks of being in the hospital.

Wound Care News explains why it’s safer and overall better to visit a wound-care specialist like Dr. Bruce Ruben at Encompass HealthCare than going to a hospital. This is especially true during the current Covid-19 pandemic.

If you’re one of the 6.7 million Americans living with a chronic wound, you may well be referred to a wound care specialist for treatment. In this article, we’ll explore when you should see a wound care specialist, why proper wound care is so vitally important, and how specialist treatment can reduce the risk of complications and encourage a speedy recovery.

While most primary care physicians are qualified to treat a straightforward wound, resulting from a day-to-day injury, they may not be the right person to deal with a complex or non-healing wound. In addition to the usual medical training, wound care specialists undergo a rigorous three-year wound care program and written exam. They are, therefore, uniquely qualified in the most sophisticated treatments, techniques, and technologies to help patients recover more quickly from serious wounds.

To maintain their status, wound care specialists also have to secure continuing education credits and periodically requalify for certification. As a result, a qualified wound care professional will be up to date with the latest developments and research into wound care.

During your first visit, your wound care specialist will conduct a thorough diagnostic analysis of your wound, including the cause of the wound and any issues that might be obstructing your healing. You will then be given a customized treatment plan that takes into account your case history and the type of wound, your ability to comply with particular treatments (for instance, physical therapy), and any additional treatments you might require. You will then be scheduled for a series of visits with your wound care specialists, during which your healing will be evaluated, and your treatment modified.

Not every wound needs specialist treatment. In most cases, a simple wound that results from an injury can be treated by a primary healthcare provider. More serious wounds may require treatment in the hospital, followed by recovery at home. And, of course, if you see any signs that the wound is infected, such as redness, increased pain, a bad smell, fever, or swelling, you should call your doctor immediately.

However, certain kinds of wounds are more likely to need specialist treatment. For instance, complex wounds such as vascular ulcers, diabetic ulcers, radiation wounds, various types of traumatic injury, and some post-operative wounds may benefit from treatment in a wound care center.

There are also health conditions that may make it harder for your wound to heal. These include:

  • Diabetes

  • Congestive heart failure

  • Vascular disease

  • Incontinence

  • Severe obesity

  • Renal failure

  • Nerve damage

Certain lifestyle issues may also prevent wound healing. For instance, a poor diet, excessive alcohol intake, smoking, and being inactive may also impede your recovery from a wound.

In general, if your wound has not started to heal after 2 weeks, or has not healed completely within 6 weeks, then you should consider visiting a wound care specialist.

For many patients, treatment by a wound care specialist can have a dramatic positive impact on their recovery and quality of life. The key benefits of specialized wound care treatment include:

Unlike a regular clinician, a wound care specialist has the knowledge to develop an individualized treatment based on your specific wound, health issues, clinical history, and personal preferences. They will then develop a care plan using this information, to help speed your recovery and healing.

Because the plan has been designed specifically for you, you are more likely to be able and willing to follow it. For instance, a specialist wound care professional could recommend the kinds of dressings that you will be most comfortable with, or take your current mobility into consideration when making recommendations about physical therapy. By contrast, a non-specialist might recommend a more standardized approach that could be harder for you to comply with.

The incorrect treatment of a wound can be potentially catastrophic. For instance, diabetic foot ulcers are the most common cause of diabetes-related amputations—infected or non-healing ulcers can result in the patient losing a foot or the whole lower part of the leg.

Long-term non-healing wounds are particularly prone to infection. Infections such as MRSA can enter the bloodstream via the wound, resulting in serious illnesses. In the most severe cases, infections can lead to sepsis, a potentially fatal medical condition triggered by the body’s immune response.

Working with a wound specialist is the best way to make sure that your wound receives the most effective treatment. A customized wound care program will be designed to approach your wound healing from multiple angles, such as increasing your circulation, reducing pain, and creating the best environment to promote recovery.

Wound care centers have access to the latest wound care treatments and technologies that may not be available in a primary healthcare facility. Advanced treatments that may be helpful in treating non-healing or complex wounds include:

  • Wound Vac Therapy

Vacuum-assisted wound closure, also known as Wound Vac treatment, involves using a vacuum pump to create negative pressure to seal a foam bandage over an open wound. The pressure pulls the edges of the wound together, promoting healing by reducing swelling, stimulating tissue growth, and preventing infections.

  • Ultrasound

Ultrasound treatment uses sound waves to encourage healing, reduce inflammation and pain, and increase circulation and soft tissue mobility.

  • Growth Factor Therapy

Growth factors are chemicals naturally secreted in the body that encourage cell growth. Growth factor therapy involves applying growth factors directly to the wound to promote the growth of wound-healing cells.

In general, wound care specialists take a more proactive, aggressive approach to wound treatment, based on the latest medical findings. For non-healing wounds, frequent debridement (removal of dead tissue) and more active medical interventions may reduce the time to heal and improve the patient’s comfort level.

Perhaps one of the most important roles of the wound specialist is to educate both the patient and their family about how to care for the wound and manage the process of healing. For those with chronic or severe wounds, recovery can be a slow and grueling process. A wound care specialist can offer advice about managing the emotional aspects of recovery, making the best lifestyle choices to promote healing, understanding your wound and how to care for it as it heals, and transitioning safely and easily to self-care.

Above all, our staff treats everyone like family. That’s the Encompass difference!

Meet the Wound Dogs of Encompass HealthCare

Posted on: February 6th, 2021 by Encompass Healthcare No Comments

At Encompass HealthCare, we believe that a calming, welcoming, and happy environment plays a big role in the healing of our patients! That is why Dr. Ruben, our medical director, has introduced two therapy dogs into our office! Inky and Pocket bring a sense of joy to our office each and every day! Many of our patients have attested to the calming effect the dogs have had on them and tell us they look forward to visiting the dogs at each appointment in our office.

Inky and Pocket have been nicknamed the Wound Dogs because of how quickly some of our patients have healed when they’ve spent extended time with the dogs. Many patients tell us how the Wound Dogs have lifted their spirits and given them the positive mindset they needed in order to heal! Pet therapy is so powerful!

Wound Dogs at Encompass Healthcare in West Bloomfield - Dr. Bruce Ruben

We believe in the effect a healthy, happy pet can have on a person’s mental health and their healing experience in general! It follows along closely with Dr. Ruben’s philosophy of treating the WHOLE PATIENT, not just the hole in the patient!

Judging by how much they wag their tails…we think our dogs love being therapy pets! They get to go on a long scenic walk each day and get lots of love and attention from our staff and patients! Not to mention, TREATS! If you happen to be in our office, make sure you say hi to Inky and Pocket, they’ll be happy to see you!

Infectious Disease and 2021

Posted on: February 5th, 2021 by Encompass Healthcare No Comments

Infectious Disease has become an even more interesting specialty over the past year. But although COVID-19 is still a large topic for us, there are other subjects and advancements to review as well!

Infectious Disease! Most of us probably haven’t really given those two words a thought in the past few years – that is until COVID-19 hit every news channel, radio station, and the population of almost every country in the world! Some of our young people, especially young children, may now think of COVID-19 as synonymous with Infectious Disease studies and medicine. Still, there are other facets of the Infectious Disease specialty that deserve recognition and attention – but today, we’re here to give some legitimate updates on the COVID-19 pandemic.

One thing we found important to note is that, according to the CDC, COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths across the United States are still rising. This means that it isn’t yet safe to get back to our pre-2020 normal. Wearing a mask, distancing 6+ feet, and avoiding crowds are all great steps to help slow the spread of the disease. If we can slow the spread enough, we’ll all be able to help our amazing health care professionals and first responders to care for the sick and injured!

Next big ticket item… COVID-19 vaccines are now being administered! The CDC as well as your local health department will have information on where, when and how we all can get vaccinated! This is great news! With a working vaccine for COVID-19, we as a community may be able to return to a pre-pandemic normal much sooner. It also means that those who are vaccinated will have a much better chance of beating or fighting off the virus – should they be infected later on!

Now, although this vaccine is good news, we aren’t completely out of the woods just yet. Like we mentioned before, COVID-19 cases and deaths are still on the rise. So, there’s still reason for caution. Luckily, our medical director Dr. Bruce Ruben, along with our entire staff, have made a great effort to provide a safe and convenient place for patients to receive care, despite the pandemic and risk COVID-19 poses on us all. We have added to our sanitizing and social distancing routines here at the office, making sure to provide plenty of masks and hand sanitizers in the office for staff, patients, and visitors! We truly care about the safety of all parties in our office!
If you’re interested in learning more about these topics, we suggest you take a look at the source list we’ve provided. Below, you’ll find the website and articles we used to find factual information about the virus, pandemic, and the vaccine!

Our Sources:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/covid-19-vaccines
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html

Encompass Healthcare is Grateful For Our Patients and Caregivers

Posted on: December 12th, 2018 by Encompass Healthcare No Comments

It’s hard to believe that the year 2018 is almost over. It’s been a wonderful year for us at Encompass HealthCare and Wound Medicine and a time for reflection. While we have been helping men and women in pain for many years, we still think of our medical practice as a new endeavor — and as an alternative to big-business hospitals. Dr. Bruce Ruben and his health care team are constantly working to use innovative medicine for our patients. We see it as our mission to keep ourselves several steps ahead of the pace in the medical field.

 

 

Our treatments for pain care and wound management are constantly evolving to meet the needs of our patients. The recent Thanksgiving holiday gave us an opportunity to count our blessings. We are so very grateful for our many patients and caregivers, who put their trust in our medical team of professionals. We see ourselves as teammates and partners with you.

At Encompass, we take your health very seriously and take great pride in keeping apprised of the many recent changes in how to treat ailments such as diabetic neuropathy, skin infections, bone infections, wounds and different forms of infectious diseases. The gratitude we receive when a patient or caregiver is satisfied with the level of service, the quality of care and the hospitality at Encompass reminds us that what we do really makes a difference. It gives our patients and their caregivers peace of mind.

During the winter holiday season, we gave thanks for all the good that we have in our lives. All of us at Encompass are grateful for you — our partners. We wish you a joyous and blessed holiday season and a successful ending to 2018. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions regarding your health or the health of someone you love.

Avoid Amputation At Encompass HealthCare & Watch Our Video

Posted on: December 8th, 2015 by Encompass Healthcare No Comments

We avoid amputation by delivering the most sophisticated wound healing technology to our patients…all outside of a hospital, safely at our in-house wound treatment center.

At Encompass Healthcare, our patients have been able to avoid amputation because we have access to hospital-level technology without the hassles that hospitals present. Our sophisticated wound care technology includes treatments such as venous ablation, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, I.V. antibiotics, x-rays, special dressings and a home-like atmosphere that is anything but hospital-like!  (more…)

Inky and Pocket

Posted on: November 24th, 2014 by Encompass Healthcare No Comments

Inky and Pocket, the WoundDogs at Encompass HealthCare, are members of the beloved staff at the outpatient wound care center. Here, they take time out from napping to tell us about their work and their life at Encompass.

INKY & POCKET: No? You sure? Seriously? Positive? Absolutely sure? Second chance? Once more? Not right now, but later? Maybe?

POCKET: No worries. We’ll keep an eye out in case you drop something.

INKY: It’s what we do. After all, we’re dogs, first.

POCKET: WoundDogs, that’s our family business. We’ve been doing wound care for ‘bout four years now.

INKY:  ‘Bout 28 years.

POCKET: ‘Bout 28 years in dog years.

(Inky is startled by a sound coming from the kitchen)

INKY:  Hey, I just heard the fridge door open. Be right back!

Inky taking a break.

Inky taking a break.

POCKET: Anyway, we’re quite critical to the operation here at Encompass HealthCare. See, Inky and I give the place atmosphere. We put the patients in a good space to heal, h-e-a-l, not the “heel” like “sit down.” It’s aesthetics. We add that “je ne sais quoi” that you won’t find in any other wound care facility.

INKY: False alarm. Doc was just putting his lunch in there.

POCKET: I was just going over what we do here.

INKY: You tell ‘em the French thing?

POCKET: Yes. We provide the “je ne sais quoi.”

A Blue Picardy Spaniel

A Blue Picardy Spaniel

INKY: That certain something. I’m a darn-near-perfect Blue Picardy Spaniel.

POCKET: And I’m a slightly non-traditional Cavalier King Charles Spaniel…

INKY:  …On account of he’s just black and white without the telltale classic brown accents.

POCKET & INKY: But we don’t judge.

INKY:  We’re not here to judge.

POCKET:  Basically, we’re here to look good…

INKY:  Not get in the way…

POCKET:  …and be cute…

INKY:  …Because if a patient seems a little down…

POCKET:  …Or they’re about to drop some food…

INKY:  …Then, we go into F.C.M.: Full-Cute Mode. I sit real pretty with a “you’re the most important person living” expression on my face.

Pocket always seems to be on break.

Pocket always seems to be on break.

POCKET:  And I generally roll onto my back, wag my tail and show you my goods.

INKY: And that’s it.

POCKET: And I can make myself look exactly like the Lady dog in The Lady and the Tramp.

INKY: Except that she’s brown and tan and you’re all black and white.

POCKET: Jeesh! Why can’t you ever let that go?

INKY: What?

POCKET: You never miss a chance to point out my non-traditional coloring. Am I cute?

This is what Pocket thinks he looks like.

This is what Pocket thinks he looks like.

INKY: You’re adorable.

POCKET: Then let’s leave it at that.

(The interview is interrupted by a sound in the kitchen)

INKY & POCKET: FRIDGE!!

(Both dogs high tail it to the kitchen. (Pun intended.)

POCKET:  We were so close.

INKY:  So close to that sliced turkey.

POCKET: But it wasn’t to be. But what is meant to be is that we are WoundDogs. Make no mistake about it. Our job is all about you. Our patients love us and we love them back.

INKY: Along with whatever they might happen to be eating.

POCKET: That’s a ditto.

INKY: So if you come to Encompass HealthCare and Wound Medicine, make sure you say, “hello.”

POCKET: Yeah, because we want to make you feel at home.

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Benefit for UMD Student Who Suffered Extreme Hypothermia, Needs Skin Grafts – KSTP.com

Posted on: January 11th, 2014 by Encompass Healthcare No Comments

Skin grafts might be necessary in cases of hypothermia

See on Scoop.itWound Healing Tips

Benefit for UMD Student Who Suffered Extreme Hypothermia, Needs Skin Grafts
KSTP.com
A benefit was held Sunday for the University of Minnesota Duluth student who survived nine hours outside in the freezing cold last month.

(more…)

Wound Care Patient Guide Published by Dr. Bruce Ruben!

Posted on: January 7th, 2014 by Encompass Healthcare No Comments

Wound Care Patient Guide Published by Dr. Bruce Ruben

Medical Director Dr. Bruce Ruben has just been published, citing an exhaustive wound care patient guide for wound care and non-healing wounds on Vitals. com, a respected physician search and rating site. The guide includes an overview of wound care, non-healing wounds, the team of physicians who might be involved in the overall wound care process, how to prepare for a wound care physician’s office visit, questions to ask the doctors, common tests to expect, and possible treatment options. The most common types of wounds are discussed and details about each type are available. In addition, the guide offers information on the reasons why wounds sometimes do not heal, a chronic problem for quadriplegics, paraplegics, the disabled, and diabetics. Encompass HealthCare is an expert, outpatient wound healing center that uses sophisticated wound treatments such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, IV antibiotics, lymphedemic management, and more to heal stubborn wounds.

 

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Owning Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Posted on: December 8th, 2013 by Encompass Healthcare No Comments

Owning Diabetic Foot Ulcers

We own diabetic foot ulcers like Lebron James owns anyone who covers him on the basketball court.  We have advanced knowledge of the game. We possess the mechanics. We’ve trained all our lives to produce at the highest levels of wound care. We’re driven to beat this insidious disease.

We own diabetic foot ulcers. There’s no foot ulcer that we haven’t been able to cure thus far.  That’s because sometimes the ulcer has little to do with the bandage that’s put on it and more to do with the malady underneath it.  That’s right….wound medicine goes a lot deeper than fancy bandaging.  It goes into usual unchartered territories like infection, edema, poor nutrition (or just not enough protein,) poor circulation, and repetitive trauma.

So the next time you hear about Encompass Healthcare‘s ability to heal a diabetic foot ulcer, think of our little “logo” guy on 6’8″ stilts, wearing the finest basketball court shoes money can buy.

 

 

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