Wound Care Center
Many wounds can be minor like a scratch, insect bite, blister or cut that heals in a few days on its own. Occasionally, wounds are more serious and take special treatments and advanced care to heal appropriately.
CHI St. Luke's Health-Wound Care Center takes a personalized approach to medical and surgical care. Advanced wound care technologies shorten the healing time to just a few months. Taking individualized needs into consideration, Medical Director Dr. Randy Blakestad and his team are focusing on healing chronic wounds within eight weeks of the first treatment.
Patients with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease, lupus, paralysis and many other illnesses are more at risk for developing wounds that need specialized care. Wounds that go untreated or self-treated wounds that do not heal within 6 weeks begin to "breakdown" the surrounding tissue which can lead to infection and serious health consequences such as loss of limb or life. CHI St. Luke's Health-Wound Care Center focuses on treating the wound so patients can return to a normal life as soon as possible.
Meet Your Physician
With nearly 30 years experience in cardiothoracic and vascular surgery, Randy Blakestad, M.D., knows the importance in keeping your blood flowing. Specializing in limb salvage and chronic wound management, Dr. Blakestad works with a multi-disciplinary team to identify all contributing causes of the wound, assess the patient and provide a personalized treatment plan.
Dr. Blakestad remains in contact with the patient's referring physician by providing updates on the progress. Dr. Blakestad's training in problem wound management and hyperbaric medicine provides patients with medical alternatives. Patients experiencing chronic wounds should ask their primary care physician if referral for a consultation is appropriate for them; although, a physician referral is not required for consultation and treatment.
A Healing Program Designed Just For You
When you visit CHI St. Luke's Health-Wound Care Center, our staff will examine your wound and ask you questions about your general health. After a thorough analysis of test results and your medical history, our wound care team will design a treatment program that is based on your special needs. The program may include regular visits to the Wound Care Center to provide treatment and evaluate your progress. You also may be given detailed instructions on how to care for your wound at home.
Much of the success of your healing depends on you. Keeping your appointment, following directions for caring for your wound at home, and monitoring your progress will greatly help in your recovery. We encourage you, or your caregiver, to call our staff if you have any questions.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is the administration of 100% oxygen in a pressurized environment. The therapy works throughout your entire body as the increased level of oxygen enters the blood and body tissues. Our individual chambers offer a private, comfortable environment each with its own television and DVD player.
Specialized wound care and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy are often necessary for optimal treatment of chronic non-healing wounds. HBOT is used in conjunction with advanced wound care, and along with proper attention to nutrition, infection and other underlying medical problems, we achieve greater healing results.
Depending upon your specific situation, HBOT may provide you with the following:
- Increased oxygen delivery to wound or injured tissue
- Greater blood vessel formation
- Increased speed of wound healing
- Preservation of damaged tissue
- Elimination of toxic substances from the wound
Approved Conditions of Warranting HBOT
The American Medical Association approves the following conditions for Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment:
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- Injuries in which limbs have been crushed
- Decompression Sickness-The Bends
- Gas Gangrene
- Necrotizing soft tissue infections-flesh eating bacteria
- Osteomyelitis-an infection in the bone that has not healed in over a month
- Radiation tissue damage
- Failed or failing skin grafts or flaps
- Diabetic wounds of the lower extremities that have not healed in a month
- Actinomycosis (soft tissue)
- Gas Embolism
- Acute Peripheral Arterial Insufficiency
- Cyanide Poisoning
- Acute Peripheral Ischemia
During therapy you simply lie comfortably and restfully while in the chamber, watching television, listening to music, or napping. You may notice a sensation of fullness or popping in your ears until you reach the prescribed pressure. Swallowing or yawning usually relieves this sensation. There is a slight chance that your vision may temporarily improve during the time you are in the chamber. If you have cataracts, you should consult with your ophthalmologist prior to therapy.
Because of the high amounts of oxygen administered, certain items are not allowed inside the HBO chambers. They are as follows:
- Perfume or aftershave
- Hair spray or hair oils
- Wigs or hairpieces
- Nail polish
- Alcohol or petroleum-based products
- Metallic items such as jewelry, watches or coins
- Hearing aids
Preparation for Therapy
Our staff will discuss the specific preparation required prior to treatment. These include:
Smoking is not allowed during the course of HBOT, even when you are at home. Smoking causes blood vessels to restrict thus delaying healing.
A complete list of medications, both prescription and non-prescription, must be provided to the HBOT physician before HBOT can begin.
Notify your HBOT doctor immediately if you experience cold or flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, headache, diarrhea, or generalized body aches during your treatment.
During treatments, you will be provided with a special 100% cotton gown that has been approved for wearing during HBO therapy.
Please do not bring valuable items. Lockers are provided for your clothing.
You will be asked to remove dentures, partial plates and hearing aids. You also will be asked to remove contact lenses and glasses.
A referral by your primary physician is not required. However by working with your physician, our specialists have a better understanding of your needs and therefore can prescribe the most appropriate therapy for your condition.
Health Insurance Coverage
Most health care plans include wound care treatment. Coverage depends on your specific plan. Please bring your insurance information with you on your first visit.
The Wound Care Center is located inside CHI St. Luke's Health-Memorial Lufkin on the hospital's west end, just off Franklin Street. An easily accessible entrance with parking available near the entryway gives patients the convenience of reserved parking and direct entrance to the center. For more information or to schedule and appointment with Dr. Blakestad please call 936-639-7696.