Shore Medical Center's Wound Care Center®
Shore's Wound Care Center, managed by Healogics, Inc., provides specialized treatment for chronic or non-healing wounds, which are defined as sores or wounds that have not significantly improved from conventional treatments. Associated with inadequate circulation, poorly functioning veins, and immobility, non-healing wounds lead to lower quality of life and may lead to amputations. When wounds persist, a specialized approach is required for healing.
That's where our Wound Care Center® can help. With state-of-the-art treatments available including debridement, dressing selection, special shoes, and patient education, people with non-healing and chronic wounds now have a place to turn. The Center uses an interdisciplinary model of care, including infectious-disease management, physical therapy, occupational therapy, laboratory evaluation, nutritional management, pain management, diabetes education, and other areas to address total patient health.
- Chronic Wounds: A Growing Problem
It is estimated that 6.7 million people currently live with chronic wounds and that number is expected to grow at more than two percent for the next decade. The rising incidence is fueled by an aging population and increasing rates of diseases and conditions such as diabetes, obesity and the late effects of radiation therapy. Untreated chronic wounds can lead to diminished quality of life and possibly amputation of the affected limb. Chronic wounds represent a cost of more than $50 billion to the healthcare system. More than 29 million people (9.5% of population) have diabetes in the United States (US) and almost two million of those people annually will develop a diabetic foot ulcer or other non-healing wound. Advanced wound care aims to prevent amputations and heal patients in a faster and more cost-effective way.
At Shore's Wound Care Center, we follow treatment protocols specifically established for each type of wound. We utilize the latest approaches to wound healing and remain current in new scientific advances in wound care.
- What to Know About Diabetes and Wound Healing
An estimated 30.3 million people in the United States (9.4 percent of the population) have diabetes, including 7.2 million who are unaware they are living with the disease. The percentage of adults with diabetes increases with age, reaching a high of 25.2 percent among those aged 65 years or older. In addition to age, risk factors for diabetes also include diet, activity level, obesity and heredity.
Diabetes may be accompanied by other co-existing conditions such as blindness, heart disease, kidney failure or lower-limb amputation. High blood sugar levels, poor circulation, immune systems issues, nerve damage and infection may contribute to a non- healing diabetic foot ulcer. Approximately 25 percent of people living with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer. Diabetic foot ulcers have a very high recurrence rate: As many as 40 percent of people with a healed diabetic foot ulcer will develop a new ulcer within a year. Diabetic foot ulcers can be challenging to heal.
Diabetes is the leading cause of limb loss, accounting for 65,000 amputations annually. Up to 55 percent of diabetic patients will require amputation on the second leg. Even more alarming, within two to three years, nearly half of those living with an amputation will die.
There are several common factors of diabetic foot ulcers, including neuropathy, peripheral arterial disease (PAD), deformities and Charcot foot. Neuropathy is a result of damage to peripheral nerves and often causes weakness, numbness and pain in hands and feet. Similarly, PAD is caused by narrowed arteries which reduces blood flow to the limbs. Charcot foot is a deformity that results from nerve damage in the foot or ankle, which may cause injuries to go untreated, leading to the breakdown of joints.
The Shore Medical Center Wound Care 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)
- Daily self-inspections of the feet, or have a family member perform the inspection
- Regular care of the feet including cleaning toenails and taking care of corns and calluses
- Choose supportive, proper footwear (shoes and socks)
- Take steps to improve circulation such as eating healthier and exercising on a regular basis
Proper wound care techniques are imperative to healing diabetic foot ulcers. Debridement, Offloading or Total Contact Casts (TCC), Negative Pressure Wound Therapy and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) are a few of the leading-edge treatments offered at our Wound Care Center®. Debridement, the removal of damaged tissue, is widely recognized as one of the most important methods of advanced wound care. Total contact casting, also known as off-loading, relieves pressure from the wound and is considered the gold standard for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. Finally, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is where a patient receives 100-percent oxygen and an increased atmospheric pressure inside an acrylic chamber. These specialized therapies can aid in wound closure, new tissue growth, wound tissue regeneration and much more.
- Advanced Wound Care Modalities
What to know about treating chronic, non-healing wounds
Shore Medical Center's Wound Care Center is working to raise awareness of the chronic wound epidemic, and the advanced modalities available to those living with chronic, non-healing wounds. As a member of the Healogics Wound Care Center® network, Shore Medical Center's Wound Care Center has access to a vast network of tools, education and expertise.
With a growing number of chronic wound cases in the United States, advanced wound care has never been more important. Delivering specialty wound care for our patients can result in better outcomes, including faster healing times and fewer amputations.
Shore Medical Center's Wound Care Center offers an evidence-based, systematic approach to advanced wound care. Our patients’ individualized treatment plan may include the following advanced modalities.
- Offloading, including total contact casting is a treatment for non-infected diabetic foot ulcers that involves encasing the lower leg, foot and toes in a specialized cast that takes the weight off the foot, reducing pressure on the wound and increasing the probability and speed of healing.
- Negative pressure wound therapy involves placing a vacuum over a dressed wound, which draws fluid from the body through the wound and stimulates blood flow to the wound. Establishing new blood flow to the wound can aid in kick-starting the body’s own healing mechanisms.
- Wound debridement is the process of removing dead tissue from wounds. The dead tissue may be black, gray, yellow, tan, or white. Foreign material may also be on the wound. It may need to be removed.
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is an adjunctive advanced modality therapy available for eligible wound care patients. It involves a pressurized, oxygen-rich environment that stimulates growth of new blood vessels and tissue.
- Cellular and tissue-based products can be used to stimulate the body’s inherent ability to repair and regenerate.
These treatments are the result of a team approach between our Center’s physicians, nurses and the referring physician. A treatment plan is developed and scheduled based on our patient’s needs. Once treatment is complete, he/she will return to their primary physician to continue routine care.
Likely candidates for treatment at our Center are those suffering from diabetic ulcers, pressure ulcers, infections, arterial ulcers, late effects of radiation, compromised skin grafts and flaps and wounds that haven’t healed within a reasonable time frame. People with wounds that have not improved with traditional methods of treatment may benefit from a visit to Shore Medical Center's Wound Care Center. No referral is needed.
- Partnership with the Leading Wound Care Management Team Leads to Successful Healing
Through a partnership with Healogics, Shore Medical Center is able to offer a comprehensive center offering specialized wound care. Healogics is the world’s largest wound care management company with nearly 800 hospital partners delivering excellent evidence-based care to patients with chronic wounds. Healogics has been the leader in wound care for nearly 20 years, offering the most advanced modalities such as adjunctive hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). Of special importance to our hospital, Healogics Centers traditionally achieve excellent clinical outcomes, including high limb salvage rates, a 91% healing rate within 30 median days-to-heal, and extremely high patient satisfaction.
- A Comprehensive Team of Wound Care Specialists
Shore's Wound Care Center is designed to complement your physicians' services and is committed to the treatment of chronic or non-healing wounds. The Center is made up of a team of professionals, including:
- Physicians with advanced training in wound management and hyperbaric oxygen therapy
- Nursing staff trained in the care of chronic wounds
- Technicians who perform non-invasive studies and various therapies
- Experienced staff to assist with appointments, medical records, and health insurance processing
- A personalized wound treatment program
- What to Expect
What to expect from the first appointment
Patients are mostly referred by their primary care physician, and the program operates by appointment. Upon referral to a Healogics Wound Care Center, patients undergo a thorough diagnostic examination to identify the type of wound you have and the underlying problems causing the wound. The initial appointment consists of a full assessment to determine the etiology of the wound, the appropriate classification and size of the wound, the overall health status of the patient and the patient’s ability to comply with needed therapies.
Based on the evaluation, a customized treatment plan is developed to optimize the therapies best suited to address the patient’s needs. Wound size and depth are documented at the initial visit, and again at each subsequent visit. Some of the diagnostic modalities which may be used include:
- Laboratory evaluation
- Radiology (including MRI)
- Transcutaneous oxygen testing
- Vascular studies, electrocardiogram
After this determination, a program specifically tailored to your needs will be initiated based on the most effective treatment options. An interdisciplinary approach will be used to provide the maximum healing possible.
Specialized wound care is usually administered on an outpatient basis. Patients are free to drive themselves to the Center for therapy, and you should plan two-and-a-half to three hours for each visit.
What is specialized wound care?
Once a treatment plan has been initiated, you will visit the Center on a regular basis for specialized treatments and documentation of the progress of your healing. You will also be fully instructed on how to do your own wound care at home between visits, as well as how to protect your wound from further injury. It is very important to remember that you are the most important part of your healing process. Keeping appointments and following directions are critical to attaining a positive healing outcome. The Center employs the most technologically advanced wound care therapy, including debridement, topical wound therapy, growth-factor therapy, tissue therapy, dressing selection, special shoes, and patient education. When wounds persist, a specialized and comprehensive approach is required for healing.
Preparing for your treatments
After an initial consultation and examination at the center, you will receive complete instructions regarding your treatment.
Note: You should refrain from smoking or the use of any tobacco products during the entire course of therapy. Tobacco use will prolong or even prevent healing of a wound site due to its effect on the blood vessels in your body.
If you are sick or on medication
If you have a cold or cough, the flu, sore throat, chills, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, inform the staff at the Center before your treatments begin. Also, alert the staff to any medications you are taking, or changes in medication during the course of your treatment. If you are diabetic, please eat properly and continue to take your prescribed medication to control your blood sugar level. (Note: your blood sugar level will also be checked during each visit to the Center.)
We look forward to serving you. Please contact a member of our staff with any other questions you may have regarding your therapy.
About Healogics, Inc.
Headquartered in Jacksonville, FL., Healogics is the nation’s largest provider of advanced wound care services. Healogics and its affiliated companies manage nearly 800 Wound Care Centers® in the nation, and saw nearly 300,000 patients in 2014 through a connected network of centers, partner hospitals, academic medical centers, patients and families. Leveraging its scale and experience, Healogics utilizes an evidence-based systematic approach to chronic wound healing in treating an underserved and growing patient population. For more information, please visit www.healogics.com.
Shore Medical Center's Wound Care Center
100 Medical Center Way
Somers Point, NJ
Open 8am - 4:30pm
Monday through Friday