Seven million people nationwide suffer from wounds that won't heal. It's a serious problem that can lead to amputations or affect quality of life. The Fremont Area Medical Center's - Center For Wound Healing specializes in treating difficult to heal wounds. Serese Cole shows us how in this month's Health Check.
After weeks of having her leg in bandages, 75-year-old Lois Verbeck can't wait to be rid of the wraps for good. She took a tumble in November.
Lois Verbeck said, "I fell down just two little steps. I would have been okay, but I pulled my leg around and scraped it on the wood step."
Dr. Angela Sukstorf says that scrape became infected and wouldn't heal, so Lois' doctor sent her to the Center For Wound Healing.
Serese Cole, "For many of us if we step on something like a tack or get a cut or scratch, we can treat it easily with a band-aid or even some ointment, but for diabetics, senior citizens or even people with circulation problems, that small scratch can turn into a big problem."
From crushed limbs to burns, Dr. Sukstorf has pages of injuries treated at the Wound Center for Healing.
"He would have lost the end of his finger," she explains about one of the patients.
The goal is to avoid amputations.
"We can salvage those limbs and heal the wounds so they can get back to work and back to their daily lives, " said Sukstorf.
The Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber is one way they do it.
Inside the chamber, oxygen levels are increased to 100-percent. The oxygen makes its way into the patient's bloodstream - which helps the healing process.
Ninety-eight percent of the 400 patients who have come to the center- have been healed.
"I'm happy, " said Lois Verbeck.
Lois just found out, she can now be added to the list.
The center has been opened since August of 2010 and has seen a lot of success. Doctors say some patients who have struggled with wounds for two years have come to the Center For Wound Healing and been healed after just six weeks.