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Wound Care – Wound Healing

An emerging trend is issues concerning improper treatment of wounds which result in amputation of part of the foot, the whole foot, or the leg.

Treatment of wounds is a multi-factorial issue. The doctor and patient need to work together to achieve wound closure. Some of those issues include:

  1. Control of blood sugar, if you are diabetic. If your blood sugar is not under control, you wound most likely will not heal. Your failure to control your blood sugar might be construed as “contributory negligence would might lessen or eliminate and damages award.

  2. Control of any infection. Your need would need to determine if there was an infection, identify the infecting organism, and prescribe appropriate oral of IV antibiotic.

  3. Improve blood flow. If you suffer from Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), then measures may need to be taken to improve your blood flow to your feet. Without adequate circulation, oxygen and nutrients cannot get to the wound to help it to heal.

  4. Periodic debridement. The wound may need periodic debridement where the doctor cuts away dead portions of tissue.

  5. Off-loading. It might be necessary for you to take pressure off of the wounds. There are various ways that this can be done. Understand that if the doctor tells you not to walk on your foot and you do walk on it ("I have to walk at work") the you again could be held "contributorily negligent."

  6. Wound dressing. There are various wound dressings that your doctor can prescribe and which you would need to perform at home.

Non Healing Wounds

Non Healing Wounds are generally defined as wounds that do not show progression after 4 weeks of conventional treatment as outlined above. Such wounds may require more aggressive steps.

Footlaw.com has seen instances where wounds are treated the same way, week after week, month after month. Then suddenly the wound, and even the surrounding bone becomes seriously infected and the patient ultimately loses their foot, and/or leg. After 4 weeks, if the wound is not progressing toward healing, or is not close to healing, then if you keep doing the same treatment, you are likely to get the same result (a non-healed wound). Unfortunately, these wounds, if left open, frequently result in severe infection and often, unnecessary amputation.

Cavalier and apathetic attitudes are common and often taken, such as: "Diabetic wounds often don’t heal and they often get infected and amputations are common."

Evolving standards, based on Evidenced Based Medicine point to specific adjunctive wound healing modalities if wounds have not decreased by 50% after as little as 4 weeks of treatment.

Check our Blog (link on left side column) for updated information about Wound Care.

Contact the members of Footlaw.com if you have had an amputation because your wound was not treated properly.

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