Wound care clinic offers healing touch

December 06, 2002

Staff Report
The Dearborn County Hospital Wound Care Clinic has cared for more than 200 patients since it opened in 1999.
The clinic is held on Thursdays in the hospital's Outpatient Surgical Services Unit, and assists patients in the diagnosis and treatment of wounds, said Dr. Michael McAndrew, a surgeon.
"Dearborn County Hospital Surgical Floor Nurses and I initiated the clinic about three years ago to treat severe wounds or those which were not healing properly," said McAndrew.
The clinic assesses and treats the wounds of hospitalized patients, nursing home residents and home health care patients, as well as those with needs in the general public, he said.
"There is a population of individuals who have a great need for this type of specialized care. Both Dr. McAndrew and Dearborn County Hospital felt this type of clinic would be a valuable new service for many people in our area." said Lang.
"Many people are confused by the term 'wound.' They think it has to be the result of some sort of trauma, however, that is usually not the case. Wounds occur for a variety of reasons."
Vascular ulcers, pressure wounds, chronic wounds, ostomy problems, wound infections, diabetic toe and foot ulcers, traumatic injury and burns are treated at the clinic.
A vascular ulcer is damage to the tissue caused by poor blood circulation, especially to the lower extremities, while a bedsore is a type of pressure wound.
Versailles resident Jeff Morgan is treated at the clinic for a nonhealing foot ulcer.
In 1989, he was in a riding mower accident that nearly severed his right ankle and resulted in many leg surgeries.
His foot had been healed until about two years ago, when Morgan was ill and his wound became infected. Although he recovered from the illness, the wound didn't heal again.
"The wound was draining and I had to dress it three times a day. Now that I'm coming to the clinic, the wound needs to be cleaned and wrapped only once a week," said Morgan.
"At first, I didn't think the clinic could do much to help me, but my leg is improving now. I am really pleased with my progress."
Any physician may refer patients to the wound care clinic. Care is provided to patients of all ages. About 60 percent of the wound care patients live in long-term care facilities and about 40 percent live in their own homes, said McAndrew.
"Patients come to the clinic once a week for treatment. At each visit, we remove the old dressing and then photograph and measure the wound. Dr. Mike McAndrew or Dr. Mark McAndrew then examines the wound and treatment is carried out according to their instructions," said nurse Bridget Johnson.
The clinic also provides instructions for wound care for patients and their families. Patients visit the clinic for follow-up care until the wound is healed, said Johnson.
The clinic receives two to three new patient referrals each week, she said.
For more information, call Dearborn County Surgery at 1-812-537-5772.

©The Dearborn County Register 2002