May 28, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

The Advanced Wound Healing Center at St. Mary’s General Hospital

(Courtesy of St. Mary’s General Hospital) In the United States, chronic wounds affect approximately 6.5 million patients. It is claimed that an excess of $25 billion is spent annually on treatment of chronic wounds, and the burden is growing rapidly due to increasing health care costs, an aging population and a sharp rise in the incidence of diabetes and obesity worldwide. Chronic wounds are rarely seen in individuals who are otherwise healthy. In fact, chronic-wound patients frequently suffer from “highly branded” diseases such as diabetes and obesity.1 Patients with chronic wounds may experience chronic pain, loss of function and mobility, increased social stress and isolation, depression and anxiety, prolonged hospitalization, increased financial burden and increased morbidity and mortality.

“The Advanced Wound Center at St. Mary’s General Hospital is an outpatient program that specializes in treating chronic and non-healing wounds,” said George Matyjewicz, Ph.D., community liaison at St. Mary’s General Hospital. “The Wound Healing Society classifies chronic wounds into four major categories: pressure ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, venous ulcers and arterial insufficiency ulcers2. Using advanced treatments and a case-management approach, we help patients improve their health and the quality of their lives. Our team of doctors, nurses and specialists work together to provide wound healing as completely and as quickly as possible.”

Treatment plans are designed for each patient’s unique needs and are updated based on patient progress. Our Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber, which accommodates patients up to 700 pounds, can be used for the treatment of diabetic wounds, arterial gas embolism, crush injuries, thermal burns, carbon monoxide poisoning, decompression sickness, exceptional blood loss and more.

“We realize that chronic wounds are more than just a mere condition,” said Ryan Lauretano, RN, director, wound care. “They can also be stark indicators of one’s overall health and quality of life. That is why we are committed to utilizing every available resource offered by our hospital and community in addressing the underlying factors that delay healing.

“Typically, a wound that takes longer than four weeks to heal usually implies other reasons for not healing. For this reason, comprehensive assessments of our patients’ wounds and past medical history are obtained right from the start. To pinpoint underlying causes for delayed healing, our patients are further evaluated based on the nature of their wounds. For example, vascular studies may be required to better understand how a patient’s circulation affects her or his ability to heal.”

For patients with diabetes, a blood test will help to determine how successful they have been with controlling their blood sugar. In many cases, there may be a combination of several factors that are preventing our patients from healing. Each patient will have a registered nurse case manager as they work together to develop a treatment plan that involves an interdisciplinary team of specialists.

Additionally, the case manager collaborates with other departments and external agencies to accommodate patient needs as unique individuals, providing support with home care, wound care supplies, and equipment when necessary. Progress is measured in each subsequent visit, ensuring that the care plan is on track to meeting patient goals and modified accordingly when barriers to healing emerge.

“The providers and clinicians at the wound center use evidence-based care practice guidelines for a vast array of advanced treatment modalities not available in more traditional physician office settings,” said Lauretano. “The use of biologic skin substitutes and hyperbaric oxygen therapy are both great examples of the advanced treatments we can provide. More importantly, patients develop a therapeutic relationship with our nurses and providers that guides and empowers them toward making informed decisions regarding their care.”

Don’t wait if you have a wound that is not healing. Call the Wound Center now for an appointment at 973-365-4677. Most insurances accepted.

St. Mary’s General Hospital—nationally recognized, locally preferred—among the top hospitals in America for health, quality, and patient safety! A center of excellence for maternal-child, the hospital has over 550 physicians and 1,200 employees, with every staff member committed to providing respectful, personalized, high-quality care, to satisfy patients’ needs and exceed their expectations. St. Mary’s General is a proud member of Prime Healthcare, which has more Patient Safety Excellence Award recipients for five consecutive years (2016-2020) than any other health system in the country including a “Top 15 Healthcare System” by Truven Health Analytics. To learn more about how St. Mary’s General Hospital, visit https://www.smh-nj.com/ or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/StMarysGeneral.

For more information, please contact George Matyjewicz, PhD, Community Liaison at [email protected]

1 “Human Skin Wounds: A Major and Snowballing Threat to Public Health and the Economy” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2810192/

2 “Prevalence and incidence of chronic wounds and related complications: a protocol for a systematic review” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5017042/

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