Living with a chronic wound can be both painful, and debilitating.. Wounds can occur for a number of reasons. They can result from injury due to a physical accident, or develop as a result of another medical condition such as diabetes.
Although each healing process is unique and influenced by several factors, the general stages of wound healing can be summarized as follows:
- Homeostasis Phase – the wound closes easily through clotting.
- Inflammatory Phase – injured blood vessels leak which causes localized swelling.
- Proliferative Phase – the wound is rebuilt with new tissue (including collagen and extracellular matrix).
- Maturation Phase – the collagen is re-modelled, and the wound completely closes.
Wounds can regress or progress depending on various factors. When wounds continuously regress, or do not heal at all, you may be suffering with a chronic wound, this typically requires advanced wound care.
Traditional vs. Advanced Wound Care
Traditional wounds, or wounds that heal according to normal processes, can be tended to with a variety of wound care products that can be found in the typical household first aid kit or local pharmacy. Gauze, wadding and topical antibiotic ointments are used to absorb fluids, stop bleeding, prevent infection and dry out the wound.
Advanced wound care products are ordered by clinicians after a wound has failed to heal following the use of traditional, over the counter products. Advanced wound care products are specific to each type of wound either focusing on maintaining hydration, such as a hydrogel or keeping the wound dry by using a foam dressing to absorb the fluid excreted by the wound.
The priority of advanced wound care products is to maintain consistent temperatures, allow for the flow of oxygen, remove dead tissue, alleviate pain and protect the wound from external infection.
Stages Of Advanced Wound Care
Advanced wound care requires a detailed and thorough approach in order to accelerate healing and reduce infection. If you suffer from a chronic or non-healing wound, the first step is to visit your physician who can advice you on various treatments options including a wound care specialist.
RegenQuest offers a comprehensive patient assessment and will discuss any risks and potential influences, providing the foundation of care. After the comprehensive assessment, diagnostic tests may be ordered to assist in determining the cause of the wound. This will have an impact on what treatment is prescribed.
Depending on the results of the diagnostics, a variety of innovative wound treatment technologies will be applied to assist with healing. These treatments will be administered alongside supportive nutrition counselling to further assist healing. Glucose, fatty acids, protein and various vitamins all play a crucial role in the healing process; from providing the body with a power source, assisting with cell structure and collagen formation and inflammatory processes.
An individualized treatment plan is required to facilitate healing. Trusted treatment plans may include:
- Debridement – the removal of damaged tissue from the wound.
- Total Contact Casting – a specially designed cast to alleviate pressure from a wound, typically associated with diabetic foot ulcers.
- Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) – delivers pure oxygen to the body under increased atmospheric pressure in a hyperbaric chamber.
- Bioengineered Skin Substitutes – consisting of an outer epidermal layer and/or dermal layer set into a support structure to form a biological skin substitute.
- Specialty Dressings and Wraps
- Compression Therapy – applying pressure to the ankles and legs with specially designed stockings to strengthen vein support and increase blood flow to the lower limbs.
- Topical Medications – these are medications that are applied to the outside of the skin.
Under supervision of our qualified and experienced medical team at RegenQuest, the stages of advanced wound healing can progress effectively, ultimately healing your wound. We invite you to schedule a consultation to assess what treatment best suits your needs.