TROY — November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and the Wound Care Center and Hyperbaric Services at Upper Valley Medical Center (UVMC) stresses the importance of awareness, early intervention and specialized care for diabetes-related chronic wounds like diabetic foot ulcers.
More than 34.2 million people in the United States currently are living with diabetes. And, diabetes-related wounds are a leading cause of limb loss, accounting for 65,000 amputations annually. Early detection and specialized care from wound care professionals can reduce healing times and significantly reduce the risk of amputation.
“The Wound Center at UVMC provides specialized treatment, often preventing amputations and helping patients return to active lives,” Stewart Lowry, M.D., medical director of the center, said. “Diabetic foot ulcers are one of the wound types that our center commonly sees. If not effectively treated, these wounds can lead to serious complications.”
Risk factors for diabetes include age, diet, activity level, obesity, and heredity. Factors that may increase the risks of developing a chronic wound, such as a diabetic foot ulcer, include high blood sugar levels, poor circulation, immune system issues and nerve damage.
The Wound Care Center at UVMC recommends the following to help prevent diabetic foot ulcers:
• Stop smoking immediately;
• Comprehensive foot examinations with each visit to a healthcare provider (at least four times a year);
• Examine feet every day or have a family member inspect them;
• Take good care of feet and keep toenails clean;
• See a healthcare provider to care for corns and calluses;
• Choose supportive, proper footwear (shoes and socks); and
• Take steps to improve circulation such as eating healthier and exercising regularly.
The Wound Care Center and Hyperbaric Services at UVMC is located in the UVMC Physician Office Building adjacent to the hospital at 3130 N. County Road 25A, Troy. Services are provided through a partnership with Healogics, the nation’s leading provider of chronic wound management.
To learn more about diabetic foot ulcers please call the UVMC Wound Care Center at 937-440-7888 or visit https://www.premierhealth.com/services/burn-and-wound-center.