Published on June 26, 2017

Healing stubborn wounds

A slow-healing wound is far more than a nuisance.

Bandaged armThe longer a wound takes to heal, the greater the risk of a serious limb- or even life-threatening infection.

That’s why if you have a wound that isn’t healing on its own, your doctor may recommend Nazareth Hospital’s Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine. Our team of doctors and nurses specializes in treating chronic wounds, such as: pressure sores, surgical wounds, and foot ulcers caused by diabetes, poor blood flow or swollen legs.

Last year, the center’s healing rate for chronic wounds was nearly 100 percent.

“Patients have come to us with wounds that are two to three years old,” says Steven Wilbraham, MD, Medical Director of the center. “And we’ve completely healed them in a month.”

What’s behind this success? The center provides truly individualized care.

“We treat the whole you—not just the hole in you,” Dr. Wilbraham stresses.
This means our team of specialists looks at the health conditions and other factors that are keeping your wound from healing and devises a treatment plan just for you.

That plan might involve lifestyle changes, as well as medical treatments such as state-of-the-art skin substitutes, specialized dressings and hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).

During HBOT, patients rest inside a pressurized chamber and breathe in pure oxygen. The extra oxygen helps injured tissue heal.

Beyond Wounds

Although HBOT is great at treating stubborn wounds, “it helps many other conditions heal as well,” says Jeanette Bernacki, MSN, RN, Program Director of the center. Those conditions include:

Crush injuries. These typically happen when part of the body is squeezed between two heavy objects.

Bone infections that aren’t healing. These can occur when infections don’t respond to antibiotics.

Radiation-related injuries. Radiation treatments for cancer can sometimes damage healthy tissue.

Rapid, unexplained hearing loss. Doctors call this sudden sensorineural hearing loss.