Friday, February 03, 2006

New Clinic Treats Old Wounds

New Clinic Treats Old Wounds
from the Muncie Star-Press

New clinic focuses on old wounds

By NASEEM SOWTI
nsowti@muncie.gannett.com

MUNCIE --

The wound healing center, which opened mid-January, is a stand-alone department of Ball Memorial Hospital and its main goal is to "take care of the wounds that are expected to heal, but they don't," said Judy Mansker, the center's program director.

Care for chronic wounds is time-consuming and sometimes requires advanced dressings that might not be available in non-specialty offices.

At the new center, "everything's right here and It's just more efficient," said Alex Cocco, the medical director of the center, including staff of specialty and general surgeons, a podiatrist, and trained nurses that attend the patients' needs.

Chronic wounds, which persist for more than 30 days or fail to improve with multiple treatments, result from various conditions such blood flow problems, poor diet, obesity and smoking.

Diabetes and poor circulation in lower legs contributed to Earl Bolton's persisting wound.

Chronic wounds also tend to be more common in the elderly, according to Cocco. Many of his patients are above 75 years of age, and with the area's aging population, it was only logical to designate a center that would address chronic wounds.

At the new center, patients are seen every week until the wound is 50 percent healed, and then their schedule becomes more widely spread.

This is in accordance with the guidelines from the National Healing, a comprehensive wound management service, which has developed clinical pathways and treatment protocols based on medicine, experience, research.

BMH has spent $125,000 to remodel the 27,000-square-foot building along West Jackson Street, which was a Marsh grocery store until the late 1990s. Only a portion of the building is occupied by the wound healing center.

The center also houses two hyperbaric oxygen chambers, which will be used as a special treatment for a small percentage of chronic wound patients.