A silent epidemic.
Chronic wounds have become a significant health crisis facing thousands of Americans. Any wound that does not heal normally can be considered a chronic wound, and increases the risk of a patient developing an infection that can lead to amputation and, in some cases, death.
Who is most likely to suffer from a chronic wound?
The short answer: anyone can suffer from a chronic wound.
While conditions like circulatory problems, diabetes, obesity, and complications from surgery or radiation can greatly increase your risk of developing a non-healing wound, everyone is at risk of being wounded and developing a severe infection that doesn't heal.
As we age, our skin becomes more delicate and less efficient at healing, making the threat of non-healing wounds more and more real. Even the healthiest, most active people can be debilitated by a chronic wound.
Common types of chronic wounds include:
- Complications from Surgery: When a surgical wound comes apart, called a “dehiscence,” patients will likely develop a hard-to-heal wound.
- Pressure ulcers: Result from constant apresure on one area, and often develop in bedridden patients.
- Diabetic ulcers: Diabetic ulcers occur in 15 percent of diabetics. These wounds can quickly lead to amputation.
- Venous ulcers: Ulcers can also be caused by venous diseases. These wounds are very painful and cause inflammation and drainage.
- Arterial ulcers: Impaired circulation, diabetes, atherosclerotic disease, and other conditions can cause these ulcers.