Wound care is an essential service. Unfortunately, many people put off seeking medical care last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This delay resulted in an increase in amputations globally and locally.
“Patients should never delay seeking wound care,” said Justin Shatto, M.D., medical director of Lake Regional Wound Healing Center. “Chronic, nonhealing wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers, need immediate care to avoid poor outcomes. Early detection and intervention are key to mitigating the possibility of limb loss.”
Healogics, a national network of wound healing centers, reported significant increases in major limb amputations, ranging from 38% to 50% globally. The increase in amputations has affected the lake area too. Lake Regional Wound Healing Center experienced a growth in total amputations and anticipated amputations from 2018. An anticipated amputation occurs when a patient presents with wounds so severe that amputation is anticipated on admission. Additionally, there was an increase in patients not completing their prescribed treatment plan in 2020.
The increase in amputations is one of the many indirect effects the pandemic has had on patients and health care systems.
“We know waiting for care has led to some avoidable bad outcomes –– from amputations to heart damage to cancer progression,” Dr. Shatto said. “As always, seek immediate care for urgent problems, even if you suspect it might not be serious. And protect your quality of life by continuing to receive care for chronic conditions.”
Lake Regional Wound Healing Center treats diabetic ulcers, pressure ulcers, peripheral arterial disease, venous leg ulcers, infections, late-effect radiation injuries, compromised skin grafts and flaps or other wounds that haven't healed within 30 days. The center develops customized plans for each patient using multiple treatment options, including hyberbaric oxygen treatments. Contact Lake Regional Wound Healing Center today if you have a wound that will not heal. To schedule an appointment, please call 573.302.2990 or visit lakeregional.com/whc.