Union Hospital To Open New Healing Center

April 2005

The old saying claims that time heals all wounds, but the truth is that without advanced therapies, some wounds can take years to heal.  Wounds that do not respond to treatment may lead to amputation in extreme cases.  On May 9, Union Hospital will open the Wound Healing Center to offer the community state-of-the-art specialized wound healing care.


?With the rising rate of diabetes, there is a great need for a specialized care center that can treat the wounds associated with the disease as well as help patients with other skin, bone, and tissue conditions caused by illness or injury,? says Diana Boyd, vice president of Nursing Services. 




?The center?s doctors and clinical staff are skilled in the latest therapeutic methods in wound management and healing technology,? Boyd says. 


To establish the center, Boyd says Union Hospital partnered with National Healing Corporation for their clinical pathways and clinical modalities.  She says these proven pathways achieve an average healing rate of 80 percent in 12 to 16 weeks of therapy.  Although the center will treat patients with chronic and advanced conditions that have not responded to previous therapies, the rate of limb amputation for non-responsive wounds is less than three percent compared to the national average of 25 percent.


Boyd says candidates for treatment in the Wound Healing Center are those suffering from various types of ulcers, infections, compromised skin grafts and flaps, and wounds that haven?t healed within 30 days. 


Dr. Joseph Zemis, a surgeon on staff at Union Hospital, serves as the center?s medical director. 


?We become a partner in the patient?s medical care,? Zemis says.  ?Through regular progress reports and phone calls we work with the patient?s doctor and other experts in the program to develop a total approach to treatment and care.  Our goal is to heal the wound and return the patient to their primary care doctor.?


One of the specialized treatments offered at the Wound Healing Center is hyperbaric oxygen therapy.  Dr. Zemis says this works by surrounding the patient with 100 percent oxygen.   This increases the amount of oxygen in the patient?s blood and, in some wounds, allows the red blood cells to more easily reach the wound to heal it from the inside out.


?Diabetic foot wounds are an excellent example of wounds that may benefit from this type of treatment,? Zemis adds.


In addition to the hyperbaric oxygen chamber therapy, Dr. Zemis says the Wound Healing Center will also employ the use of vascular studies, tissue culturing and pathology, as well as clinical debridement.


Boyd says the Would Healing Center will be easily accessible on the hospital?s ground floor.  The phone number to call for more information and to make an appointment is (330) 365-3880.



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