Can Healthy Eating Promote Successful Wound Healing?

The nutritional status of a patient plays a large role in their body’s ability undergo wound healing. It requires a higher than normal level of energy and nutrients if it is going to be successful. The body requires an additional 35 calories per kilogram of body weight to help a chronic wound to heal. This will include eating a well-balanced diet that includes protein, grains, fruits, vegetables, and dairy.

A balanced diet should include 1.5 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight. A kilogram is equal to 2.2 pounds. Keeping hydrated is also very important, eight glasses of water per day should be the minimum and more if the person sweats profusely, has a wound that is draining, or if vomiting and or diarrhea are present. Meals should include meats, eggs, milk, cheese, nuts, seeds, yogurt and dried beans. In some people who have difficulty obtaining proper caloric intake from their daily meals, high protein and high calorie shakes can be used as supplements. Two amino acids, found in foods having protein and that have been identified as having potential to help wound healing are arginine and glutamine.


People with diabetes often have difficulty with wound healing, and this is due to poor circulation, nerve damage which leads to the constant breakdown of healthy tissue components needed to heal, and a higher than normal level of sugar in the blood which can lead to higher rates of infection and causes fluids to be drained from the body. It is therefore very important for a person with diabetes to keep tight control of their disease.
Wound healing also requires additional levels of vitamins and minerals, however care must be taken too not take in more that the daily recommended amounts because this can have a negative effect on the body.


It is important to consult with a physician about how to eat successfully when trying to heal a wound and also a nutritionist who specializes in wound care.
If you have a chronic or non-healing wound, you may be a candidate for Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s outpatient Wound Care Center. To schedule an appointment or speak with a clinician, please call 718-670-4542

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Dr. Tip – Foot Ulcer, Prevention and Treatment

Dr. Steve Norman, specializing in Podiatry at Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Wound Care Center offers the following information on the prevention and treatment of diabetic foot ulcers.

If you have diabetes, you may have reduced nerve function due to a condition called peripheral diabetic neuropathy.  This condition causes the nerves that carry the sensation of pain from your feet to your brain to not function properly.  This lack of sensation may cause a small cut or scrape on your foot develop into an ulcer without you feeling the symptoms.

Here are some ways you can prevent a foot ulcer are:

  • Inspection – Check your feet every day. Check for cuts, blisters, calluses, red spots, swelling and other abnormalities.
  • Protection – Keep your feet clean by washing them every day. This will help defend wounds from becoming infected.  After washing, be sure to dry your feet thoroughly and apply lotion to prevent cracking.
  • Prevention – Try to keep your blood glucose levels within normal range. Elevated diabetes blood glucose levels can cause uncared foot ulcers to develop gangrene which can eventually lead to loss of limbs.

If you already have a foot ulcer you can try:

  • Keeping the ulcer dry and covered with a dressing
  • Maintaining proper blood glucose levels, this will facilitate healing
  • Applying topical ointments
  • Do not walk on the ulcerated foot excessively
  • Wear socks with extra padding and a loose-fitting soft shoe with laces or Velcro fasteners

“Advanced foot ulcers may require wound debridement, which is a process that carefully removes dead tissue,” stated Dr. Norman. “You want to make sure consult a physician before your wound/ulcer becomes so advanced that you may be faced with amputation.”

If you are suffering from a chronic or non-healing wound, you may be a candidate for Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Wound Care Center.  The center is open for outpatient appointments Monday through Friday, 8:00am-4:00pm.  For more information, or to make an appointment, call 718-670-4542.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Employee Spotlight – Lois Pettis, LPN, Office Manager Wound Care Center

This month’s Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s (FHMC) Employee Spotlight shines on Lois Pettis, LPN and Office Manager of the Wound Care Program.

Lois has one daughter, Maya Pettis .  Being widowed at a young age and having to raise  Maya on her own, Lois had to really focus on becoming the sole provider, caretaker and role model for her daughter.  She achieved those goals through her deep faith, positive attitude and strong work ethic.  Lois believes in leading by example and lead she does! That is why she is quick to beam with pride about the fact that Maya will soon be a graduate of Fordham University.

Originally from North Carolina, Lois and Maya have made their home in Rosedale, Queens where they are deeply involved with their church.  In fact, Lois is part of the Nurses Board at the church.

Lois Pettis feels that when you are in the medical profession, your calling is not only to be used when you are at your workplace. “I try to make everyone feel important.   That is very important to me- everyone deserves to be made to feel special,” stated Lois.  The “personal touch” is what she strives for her patients to feel, in addition to getting excellent health care.

Lois Pettis is a beloved member of the Wound Care Team.  A “normal” day for Lois Pettis is never completely normal.  Most of her day is spent scheduling patients, meeting with patients, speaking with insurance providers, family members and working on staffing issues.

“Lois is best known for her welcoming smile and gentle nature with our staff and patients.  She is an asset to our department and a large part of why our wound care center is so successful” said Fran Pugliese, Director of the Wound Care Center.

When asked what motivates her to do her job so well, Lois answers with a wide smile, “The patients! You have to understand that our patients sometimes come in for treatment multiple times a week.  You get to know them, their story and their family members.  They become family to us.”

Lois Pettis is a success in both her personal and professional life.  She is registered LPN, registrar, billing and coding expert, and will soon start a Master’s program in Hospital Administration.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Wound Healing Through the Ages

The earliest records of wound healing techniques date back to 2500 BC from ancient Egypt. Wounds were believed to have a spiritual component back then and so part of the healing process involved using donkey feces to ward off evil spirits. This actually seemed to work owing to an antibacterial effect of the material used.  As time passed, wound healing was aided by techniques that provided an antibiotic effect and included the washing of wounds with herbs, minerals, milk, and water. Hippocrates in Greece, around 400 BC described using wine or vinegar as materials needed to cleanse the wound of impurities.
As wound healing progressed it became apparent that a covering might help to protect it from further harm. After the wounds were thoroughly washed, they were dressed in wool that had been boiled in water. Cotton gauze became more widely used around the fifth century BC and was used for centuries until synthetic materials like rayon were developed in the 20th century that were more effective. Also, during the 20th century different materials were developed that were better suited to covering a wound without sticking, allowed for air to penetrate and that also contained substances that promoted quicker healing.
During the 20th century antibacterial dressings were more commonly used to keep the wounds free of bacteria. Interestingly, honey which had been employed for thousands of years was found to still be very effective as a wound healing agent because of its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Throughout history, many of the wound healing materials were developed on the battlefield. Iodine which was used as an antiseptic was used during WW I to treat gangrenous battlefield wounds and later found its way to the general public.
As advanced as the field of wound healing is today, many of the techniques developed in ancient times are still incorporated in the treatment of wounds today. It is a constantly evolving field of medicine and as wounds become more complex, so do the treatment options.
If you have a chronic or non-healing wound, you may be a candidate for Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s outpatient Wound Care Center.  To schedule an appointment or speak with a clinician, please call 718-670-4542.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Staph Infection on the Skin

Red pimple

Staphylococcus Aureus (staph) is a group of bacteria that can cause many diseases. It is commonly found on the skin in most people and it usually doesn’t cause infection until it enters the body through breaks in the skin or with food. These infections can range from being mild (not requiring any treatment) to very severe.
When staph infections develop on the skin, they can take on many different forms depending on the severity. The wound may be superficial (boils, abscess, furuncle) or deep (cellulitis). Usually these skin lesions are red, swollen and tender to the touch. There may also be pus that drains from the infection site. Severe infections which have entered the blood stream cause sepsis and manifest with high fever, chills, low blood pressure, and eventually shock.
Staph infections tend to be contagious when there is direct skin to skin contact with an infected wound.  They can also be transmitted with shared razors, gloves, socks, needles, and bandages. Prevention of staph infections can be achieved with frequent hand washing, avoiding contact with open wounds, and thorough cleansing of scrapes and cuts as soon as they occur.
People who are at higher risk for developing staph infections include:
• Diabetics
• Newborns
• Patients with cancer, lung disease, and vascular disease
• Intravenous drug users
• People with weakened immune systems
Treatment for staph infections depends on the severity. If it is a minor skin lesion, cleaning it with soap and water regularly may be sufficient whereas other wounds may require topical antibiotic ointments. More severe wounds will require surgical intervention and oral or intravenous antibiotics to control further spreading and eventually resolve the infection.
Minor skin rashes in children can be treated by a pediatrician and for adults by an internist or family medicine doctor.  More severe wounds and wounds that are difficult to heal may require the specialized care offered in the wound care clinic. To schedule an appointment with the appropriate physician, please call 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

What to Know About Bacterial Skin Disorders

Red pimple

Red pimple

Staphylococcus Aureus (staph) is a group of bacteria that can cause many diseases. It is commonly found on the skin in most people and it usually doesn’t cause infection until it enters the body through breaks in the skin or with food. These infections can range from being mild (not requiring any treatment) to very severe.
When staph infections develop on the skin, they can take on many different forms depending on the severity. The wound may be superficial (boils, abscess, furuncle) or deep (cellulitis). Usually these skin lesions are red, swollen and tender to the touch. There may also be pus that drains from the infection site. Severe infections which have entered the blood stream cause sepsis and manifest with high fever, chills, low blood pressure, and eventually shock.
Staph infections tend to be contagious when there is direct skin to skin contact with an infected wound.  They can also be transmitted with shared razors, gloves, socks, needles, and bandages. Prevention of staph infections can be achieved with frequent hand washing, avoiding contact with open wounds, and thorough cleansing of scrapes and cuts as soon as they occur.
People who are at higher risk for developing staph infections include:
• Diabetics
• Newborns
• Patients with cancer, lung disease, and vascular disease
• Intravenous drug users
• People with weakened immune systems
Treatment for staph infections depends on the severity. If it is a minor skin lesion, cleaning it with soap and water regularly may be sufficient whereas other wounds may require topical antibiotic ointments. More severe wounds will require surgical intervention and oral or intravenous antibiotics to control further spreading and eventually resolve the infection.
Minor skin rashes in children can be treated by a pediatrician and for adults by an internist or family medicine doctor.  More severe wounds and wounds that are difficult to heal may require the specialized care offered in the wound care clinic. To schedule an appointment with the appropriate physician, please call 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Pressure Ulcers

Pressure sores areaPressure ulcers or bed sores are damaged areas of skin that result from staying in one position for too long or prolonged pressure on the skin.   They tend to develop in areas where the skin is closest to the bones such as the heels, back, elbows and tailbone.

People who are limited in movement due to an illness or disability and are confined to a bed or wheelchair for an extended period of time are more at risk of developing pressure ulcers than others.  Others who are also at risk of developing pressure ulcers. Those who wear prosthesis, diabetics, smokers and sufferers of peripheral arterial disease are also at risk of developing pressure ulcers.

Pressure ulcers develop quickly; here are the warning signs and symptoms to look out for:

  • Tenderness, pain, softness or firmness, warmness or coldness of an area of skin.
  • The skin is not broken but red.
  • Redness or discoloration- If pressure is removed from an area that is discolored for more than 30 minutes and the skin has not returned to its natural hue, it is likely that an ulcer is developing.
  • The outer layer of the skin is damaged. The area may blister or appear as an open wound.
  • Loss of skin.

The following symptoms are likely to occur in the advanced stages of a pressure ulcer:

  • The ulcer appears as a deep wound or crater-like.
  • Loss of skin exposes a layer of fat, muscle, tendons or bones.
  • There is tissue at the bottom of the wound that is dead, brown, black or yellow in color.

Pressure ulcers can be easier to prevent than treat. They can be prevented by:

  • Changing positions
  • Frequently shifting weight
  • Using a specialty wheelchair
  • Using a specialized mattress
  • Using cushions to relieve pressure
  • Monitoring skin
  • Protecting skin

If you are at risk for developing pressure ulcers it is recommended that you and your healthcare team develop a strategy to help in prevention or treatment.

The Wound Care Center at Flushing Hospital Medical Center is a state-of-the-art unit that provides specialized, interdisciplinary wound care to patients who suffer from non-healing or chronic wounds.
For more information on the Wound Care Center or to schedule an appointment, call 718-670-4542.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.