Special to Iredell Free News
As millions of Americans living with diabetes are also living with chronic wounds that won’t heal, the Iredell Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center is raising awareness of diabetes-related wounds as part of the ninth annual Healogics Diabetes Awareness Campaign.
Throughout November, Iredell Wound Care will educate healthcare providers in our community and surrounding areas about the importance of awareness, early intervention, and specialized care for diabetes-related chronic wounds, like diabetic foot ulcers. This important information aims to help at-risk patients living with diabetes.
There are more than 37 million Americans currently living with diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Additionally, there are 96 million American adults who have prediabetes, leading to 1.4 million new diagnoses of diabetes every year.
Diabetes-related wounds are a leading cause of limb loss, accounting for nearly 70 percent of cases undergoing lower extremity amputation in the United States. Approximately 25 percent of people living with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer.
Many suffering from chronic wounds have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as they have avoided needed care during the past two-plus years. Many of these untreated and undertreated wounds have resulted in amputation, according to a study from the ADA.
Factors that may increase the risks of developing a chronic wound, such as a diabetic foot ulcer, include high blood sugar levels, poor circulation, immune system issues, and nerve damage. Risk factors for diabetes include age, diet, activity level, obesity, and heredity.
The Iredell Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center recommends the following to help prevent diabetic foot ulcers:
● Stop smoking immediately;
● Comprehensive foot examinations each time you visit your healthcare provider (at least four times a year);
● Examine your feet every day or have a family member inspect them;
● Take good care of your feet and clean your toenails;
● See your healthcare provider to care for corns and calluses;
● Choose supportive, proper footwear (shoes and socks); and
● Take steps to improve circulation such as eating healthier and exercising regularly
Early detection and specialized care from a Wound Care Center can reduce healing times and significantly reduce the risk of amputation.
Healogics is the nation’s wound healing expert. Last year over 300,000 patients received advanced wound care through a network of over 600 Wound Care Centers. Healogics also partners with over 300 skilled nursing facilities to care for patients with chronic wounds and provides inpatient consults at more than 60 partner hospitals. As the industry leader, Healogics has the largest repository of chronic wound-specific patient data in the country.
Contact the Iredell Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center to learn more about diabetic foot ulcers or if you have a wound that will not heal. To schedule an appointment, please call 704-768-0542. You can learn more about the center at iredellwoundcare.com.
About Iredell Health System
Iredell Health System includes Iredell Memorial Hospital; Iredell Mooresville; Iredell Home Health; Iredell Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center; Community and Corporate Wellness; Occupational Medicine; the Iredell Physician Network and more. Iredell Memorial Hospital is the largest and only nonprofit hospital in Iredell County. The comprehensive healthcare facility has 247 beds; more than 1,800 employees; and has 260 physicians representing various specialties. Centers of excellence include Women’s and Children’s; Cardiovascular; Cancer; Surgical Services and Wellness & Prevention. The Health System’s newest campus, Iredell Mooresville, is home to the area’s only 24-hour urgent care facility, as well as an ambulatory surgery center, imaging center, rehabilitation services, and physician practices. The mission of Iredell Health System is to inspire wellbeing. For a comprehensive list of services and programs, visit www.iredellhealth.org.