Solving Stubborn Wound Problems
Technique, Teamwork = Winning Combination
Margaret Nelson of St. Mary’s County lived with diabetes for nearly 40 years before a portion of her foot was amputated. A stubborn wound around and near the site was not healing and she was in danger of losing the rest of her foot, according to one medical source.
An acquaintance told her about Anne Arundel Medical Center’s Wound Center. There, Ms. Nelson was treated by podiatrist John G. DeLeonibus, D.P.M. After months of weekly treatments, her wound is completely healed, reducing the possibility of further amputation.
“I just can’t say enough about Dr. DeLeonibus and the care I received,” said Ms. Nelson, a retired nurse. “He just kept after it, very persistent, very methodical. And he always told me what was going on. I always felt comfortable in his hands.”
Dr. DeLeonibus said, “Ms. Nelson’s case was challenging, but by no means out of the ordinary. We believe when we bring our clinical resources to bear on a non-healing wound, we will prevail.”
A non-healing wound is one that fails to improve after four weeks, said James Chappell, M.D., medical director of the AAMC Wound Center. Patients with diabetes, peripheral vascular disease and loss of proper vein function are at risk of having non-healing wounds. Treatments include frequent debridement (removal of dead skin from a wound), cleansing, dressing, compression, reducing pressure over the wound, and a variety of advanced treatments.
The AAMC Wound Center features a multi-specialty team comprised of five specialties, a formidable arsenal that allows the team to get the upper hand on the vast majority of wound cases. Specialties include reconstructive plastic surgery, general surgery, vascular surgery, physical medicine, and podiatry.
“Patients are meticulously monitored by the Wound Center staff. Patients, their families, and caregivers are educated on how to best care for and prevent wounds,” said Anita Smith, R.N., B.S.N., nurse manager at AAMC’s Wound Center. “Many of our patients are coping with multiple health issues. Our team works to manage and heal their wounds.”
Gambrills resident Ron Haupt suffered from a stubborn non-healing wound caused by circulation problems following back surgery. Sarah Jamieson, M.D., a physiatrist, treated Mr. Haupt with frequent debridements and advanced technologies including a device that uses negative pressure to help heal wounds, and a bi-layered skin cell therapy. Mr. Haupt said, “Dr. Jamieson’s determination and optimism were tremendous. I never felt she was just treating the wound; she was treating me as a person, with understanding and empathy.”
The AAMC Wound Center has a new, larger setting on the ground floor of the Clatanoff Pavilion near valet parking, where families and caregivers can deliver patients just steps from the Center. “Ease of access is a significant issue for our patients because of their conditions,” said Ms. Smith. “Being able to pull up directly to our entrance is a huge advantage because many of our patients are not mobile.” For more information contact the AAMC Wound Center at 443-481- 5187.
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