Wound Care Expert at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital Shares Tips for Diabetics
Darby, PA (November 19, 2012): November is American Diabetes Month. The healthcare team at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital’s Advanced Wound Care Center is raising awareness on wound prevention and treatment for diabetics, especially when it affects their feet and legs.
According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, approximately 25 percent of adults in the United States will develop foot problems related to diabetes and more than 60 percent of non-traumatic lower limb amputations occur in people with diabetes.
“One of the complications of diabetes is that it can delay the body’s process for wound healing,” explains Frank Ziskowski, DPM, a podiatrist who specializes in wound care at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital. “Small cuts or scrapes can turn into a big problem for diabetics if these wounds are not properly managed. These can affect their quality of life and put them at risk for serious infections and even amputations.”
Preventing wounds is crucial and Dr. Ziskowski offers these tips for diabetics:
- Check your feet daily. Diabetics often lose sensation in their feet, so you may not notice cuts or abrasions.
- Wear appropriate closed-toe shoes and socks at all times. Never go barefoot, even at home. Most insurance companies pay for diabetic shoes, which can be a big help.
- Keep your feet dry. Moisture, especially underneath and between your toes, can break down skin.
Dr. Ziskowski also adds the importance of getting prompt medical attention for any wound, starting with your primary care physician. Referrals can also be made to specialized wound programs, such as the Advanced Wound Care Center at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital.
The multidisciplinary team at the Advanced Wound Care Center offers comprehensive therapies proven to reduce healing time, improve healing rates and prevent possible limb loss.
Specifically for diabetics, the physicians and nurses of the Center will conduct a thorough assessment and develop an individualized treatment plan. This plan may include one or a combination of treatments, including debridement, surgical interventions, dressings/compression wraps, vacuum-assisted closure, referral for vascular studies, evaluation and access to hyperbaric oxygen treatment, and off-loading and nutritional support.
“Our goal is to heal our patients’ wounds in the shortest period of time possible so they can get their quality of life back,” says Dr. Ziskowski.
In addition to the Advanced Wound Care Center, Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital offers a diabetes education program and a diabetes support group.
To learn more about wound care or diabetes services visit www.mercyhealth.org or call 1.877.GO.MERCY.