Chronic Wounds and Its Treatment : A chronic wound, also known as non-healing wound is a wound that has failed to heal in an orderly and timely manner and has not shown any significant progress toward healing in over 4 weeks.
When a wound does not improve after four weeks and does not heal in eight or more weeks, such wound is known as chronic wound.
Examples of chronic wounds are diabetic foot ulcers, pressure ulcers, venous-related ulcers, wounds related to metabolic disease, non-healing surgical wounds, and wounds that break down repeatedly.
What causes non-healing wounds?
There are several factors that affect the ability of a wound to heal. Some common factors that cause chronic wounds include infection, ischemia, metabolic conditions, immunosuppression, and radiation.
Lack of adequate nutrients such as vitamins, zinc, calcium, and other vital nutrients could lead to chronic wounds. Diabetes, poor circulation of red blood cells, peripheral artery disease, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are some other causes of chronic wounds.
Risk Factors of Chronic Wounds
Risk Factors for Chronic Wounds are:
- Diabetic Neuropathy
- Peripheral vascular disease and peripheral arterial disease,
- Venous insufficiency and venous stasis ulcers,
- Venous ulcers and arterial insufficiency,
- Musculoskeletal disease and peripheral nerve compression,
- Immunodeficiency syndrome and malnutrition
What happens when a wound won’t heal?
When a wound won’t heal, it gets worse. The wound becomes prone to infections. You will begin to feel increased pain. Pus and four odor will begin to come out of the wound. If the wound is not treated, the wound can get severely infected and could lead to amputation of the affected limb or even death.
What are the Symptoms of Chronic Wounds
A chronic wound may have some symptoms that the patient experiences.
Some of the most common symptoms of chronic wounds such as,
- Chronic ulcers
- Diabetic ulcers
- Pressure ulcers
- Venous stasis ulcers,
- Arterial ulcers
Other common symptoms are:
The symptoms of chronic wounds include pain, swelling, and drainage of fluids. They can affect the skin, bones, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and joints.
How do you treat chronic wounds?
Cleaning the wound
Properly clean the wound to remove dirt and bacteria from its surface.
Remove the dead tissues from the surface of the wound. Debridement allows the wound to heal properly.
After properly cleaning the wound, apply medications to the wound. Antibiotics, anti-platelets, or anti-clotting medications are medications that can be applied to prevent infection and increase the healing of the wound.
Properly dress the wound with a bandage to cover the wound and prevent dirt and bacteria from entering into the wound.
Use compression stockings to properly wrap the wound. Compression stocking compresses the wound and encourages circulation in the affected area.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy uses high concentrations of oxygen to repair damaged tissues. You will be placed in an oxygen chamber or room where you will be able to breathe in 100% oxygen. The higher concentration of oxygen that you breathe in facilitates the healing of the wound. The tissues in your body need enough supply of oxygen to work effectively.
When a tissue is injured, it requires much more oxygen to heal. Hyperbaric oxygen treatment increases the amount of oxygen your blood can transfer. An increase in blood enhances normal levels of blood gases and tissue capacity to facilitate healing and fight off infections.
Negative pressure wound therapy
This is a therapy used to draw out fluid and infection from a wound with the use of a suction pump. The fluid and infection are drawn out from the wound to facilitate the healing of the wound. Negative pressure wound therapy is effective for the treatment of chronic wounds.
What disease causes wounds not to heal?
There are a variety of diseases that can cause wounds not to heal. These include diabetes, anemia, cancer, and other long-term medical conditions. Others include high blood pressure, heart disease, and varicose veins.
How can I speed up wound healing?
Eating balanced diets that include protein, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and grains can help speed up wound healing. Eating foods and fruits that are rich in vitamin C is very beneficial.
Your body needs more calories, protein, fluid, vitamin A, vitamin C, and zinc during wound healing. Eat foods that contain all these nutrients and vitamins. Also take supplements that contain all these nutrients and vitamins to increase the wound healing process.
What deficiency causes slow wound healing?
Vitamin C plays many vital roles in wound healing. A deficiency of vitamin C in the body can cause multiple effects on tissue repair. A deficiency of vitamin C can slow down wound healing.
Why are chronic wounds a problem?
Chronic wounds are a problem because they can negatively affect the well-being of patients. Chronic wounds significantly decrease the quality of life of patients. Patients require continuous treatments to improve their conditions. Patients continue to experience pain and other symptoms associated with chronic wounds.
If not properly treated, chronic wounds can lead to severe infection. If the wound occurs in the limb, the affected limb could be amputated to prevent the infection from spreading to other areas.
How should you dress for a chronic wound?
You may need to change how you dress depending on the wound. For example: if you have an abdominal incision, you may need to wear support stockings over compression bandages.
If you have a foot wound, you may need to wear a shoe insert to protect the foot. You must wear clothing that is easy to put on and take off so that you can change the dressing if necessary. It is also essential to wear clothing that will not stick to the wound and cause pain when changing the dressing.