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Thread: Wound that won't heal-SCI Nurse

  1. #1

    Wound that won't heal-SCI Nurse

    My best SCI friend of 35 years has a wound that won't heal. He is T12-L1 Admittedly, he has not taken the best of care, but he has been bed-ridden for three years now and nearly died on four occasions. He has been treated at Thomas Jefferson Univ. Hosp. and Johns Hopkins, among several other facilities. He has been home for several months now, and the sore is still the size of a quarter. He uses a wound vac, but progress has stopped. He is now in his 70's, and he needs to make plans for fixing up the old place, transitioning to more appropriate housing, and making sure that his wife is cared for in the event of his passing. He is diabetic and he is a 100%+ disabled vet.

    He does not believe he can do these things from bed, and he is frustrated at being bed-ridden, as he is not sick. His plan is to bandage the wound as best as possible, and get up and do what he has to do, once he gets his strength back. He knows how to work out, and I'm positive he will get stronger. I can't argue with his decision, but I told him I would check here to see if there was any wound treatment center, anywhere in the country, that he should try before giving up on healing the sore.

    He is in the position of having to choose the best of two lousy options. Given his history, I can't see a happy ending, but he has to do what he has to do for his family. Is there anything that has been overlooked. If so, I think I can persuade him to give treatment one more try. If not, he is going to get back in his chair, work out to get stronger, and make plans that all older people need to make. Without getting into detail I agree that he cannot do what he has to do from bed. Besides, his wife is too ill to care for him any longer, and he has had enough of being in bed. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Windsor ON Canada
    Just out of curiosity, where is the wound? Diet? E-stim?

    I'm sorry for the position your friend is in. I sometimes think that is how it will end for me as well. Diabetes (runs in my family but I've so far been clear) causes complications for people without paralysis, let alone with. Age (as far as elasticity, collagen) must affect the skin as well.

    I hope the nurse has some great suggestions and I'll be watching the thread for my own selfish reasons as I'm pretty sure this is where I'll be one day.
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  3. #3

    Smile magic spray

    I was reading a post earler that talked about "magic spray" and think you should read it as well. It may be something worth trying on the wound

  4. #4
    since you named Jefferson, maybe you are in Philly/NJ area.

    Matthew J. Finnegan, MD - best doctor around for wound care and flap surgery. located in Haddon Heights, NJ. 856-546-3900.

    He came highly recommended and did my flap surgery.

    I would suggest calling him.

  5. #5
    When I had a large (2.5" diameter) pressure ulcer, I started using Vetericyn VF in the morning and evening. It started shrinking and had absolutely no signs of any infection. When I finally went to a wound clinic, all the doctor did was give me the name of an otc moisture barrier. It healed in about three weeks after that and I did not stay in bed.

    Note: I am diabetic and also suffer from low testosterone.

    Good luck.
    ''Life's tough... it's even tougher if you're stupid!'' -- John Wayne

  6. #6
    Regardless of the treatment, if he is sitting on the wound, it will not heal. In addition, it is critical that his diabetis be under strict control. If this is not being done, then he is unlikely to heal the wound. Without knowing more about where it is, and what it looks like, it is difficult to say more. Nutrition of course is critical. I would want to know if what his albumin and pre-albumin levels are, as well as his CRP. Has he had recent tests for osteomyelitis, and if it is present, has it been treated? Why has he not had surgery?

    If he is a veteran, he can also go to a VA SCI Center. The closest to him would be the one at the Bronx VA. They have excellent wound care there.


  7. #7
    Senior Member rdf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Someplace between Nowhere and Goodbye
    If the sore is on his ischial, he might try a Ride cushion. It works well for me, it keeps my ischials free of any pressure.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    My Dad had two pressure sores on his butt. It's been about 3 wks and it's healing fairly well.

    Perhaps a contributor: He was put on an air mattress (puffs and spouts air) which supposed to be specifically designed to prevent pressure sores. The sales reps claimed that the design has been researched.

  9. #9
    SCI-Nurse. I have a quarter size (2.5 x 2.8) pressure sore on my right ankle. They just put a wound vac on it about a week ago. Do these things really work ?

  10. #10
    For the right wound, a VAC (KCI brand for a negative pressure wound therapy device or NPWT) can be quite helpful, although without being sure that there is no pressure, and that your nutrition is good, and that you don't have underlying osteomyelitis,it cannot perform miracles.


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