Wound and Skin Healing Center FAQs

What is Washington Health System Wound and Skin Healing Center and Hyperbaric Medicine?

Washington Health System Wound and Skin Healing Center and Hyperbaric Medicine provides medical evaluation of patients with wound healing problems and specialized treatment of these wounds using the most advanced techniques, products, and services. Washington Health System Wound and Skin Healing Center and Hyperbaric Medicine is staffed by a specially trained team of doctors, nurses, and other health care workers dedicated to the treatment of wound healing problems. All treatments, including hyperbaric oxygen treatment, are provided in an outpatient setting.

 

Why is a special center for treating wounds beneficial?

Washington Health System Wound and Skin Healing Center and Hyperbaric Medicine fulfills the needs of patients who require specialized and aggressive care for their wounds that typically cannot be provided in traditional medical settings. Published medical and nursing evidence suggests that specialized centers for treating wounds improve outcomes by providing early and coordinated access to the full range of medical, surgical, and nursing interventions that may be required.

 

How many people have chronic, non-healing wounds?

It is estimated that nearly five million Americans suffer from chronic wounds, including those that are the result of diabetes, lower extremity arterial disease, lower extremity venous disease, edema, pressure ulcers, and traumatic injuries.

 

How do I know if I have a chronic, non-healing wound?

If a wound has not improved significantly in two to four weeks or if it has not completed the healing process in eight weeks, it should be considered a chronic wound and one at risk for prolonged non-healing. Patients who have diabetes, arterial disease (poor circulation), a chronic edema (swelling) of the lower extremities, chronic skin infections, or a history of collagen vascular disease such as scleroderma or rheumatoid arthritis, should seek early referral to The Wound & Skin Healing Center and Hyperbaric Medicine.

 

What are the causes of chronic wounds?

Diabetes, immobilization, chronic edema, and circulatory problems contribute to the majority of chronic, non-healing wounds. Approximately 1.5 million people with non-healing wounds have diabetes. Another 2.5 million patients have pressure ulcers. Each year 500,000 new lower extremity ulcers develop in patients with chronic venous insufficiency and stasis. Other chronic wounds are the result of traumatic injury, non-healing surgical incisions, and a variety of other diseases that affect the skin.

 

How do I seek treatment?

If you or someone you know has a non-healing wound, you should ask your doctor about Washington Health System Wound and Skin Healing Center and Hyperbaric Medicine or call us today at (724) 223-6903 for more information. A physician referral is required for treatment.  If you have a lower extremity wound, you may also contact Dr. James A Marks, Medical Director for such a referral at (724) 223-6903.

 

Does This Mean I Have to Change Doctors?

Not at all. Washington Health System Wound and Skin Healing Center and Hyperbaric Medicine works with your personal physician in the same way as we would any medical specialist. We keep your doctor informed on all aspects of your treatment with frequent progress reports. While you’ll be receiving treatment for your wound from Washington Health System Wound and Skin Healing Center and Hyperbaric Medicine, you’ll continue to receive all of your routine care from your physician.  

 

Does Insurance Cover Treatment?

Many health plans cover Washington Health System Wound and Skin Healing Center and Hyperbaric Medicine treatments. Medicare and most other third party payers for certain accepted conditions reimburse HBO therapy. In most cases, preauthorization must be obtained prior to the start of therapy. We can help you determine what your specific plan covers.  

 

What Can I Expect at the First Appointment?

The first appointment consists of an in-depth assessment by our wound care team, a review of your medical history, blood tests or additional tests if needed, and recommendations for your treatment plan. Please bring your medical records, insurance card, a list of all medications you are taking, and a list of allergies you may have to the first appointment. Your initial visit will take 1-2 hours and is based on the complexity of your condition.

 

What Causes Non-Healing Wounds?

Chronic and non-healing wounds can result from a number of factors, including diabetes, poor circulation, trauma, vascular disease, and immobility (which can lead to pressure ulcers, commonly known as bed sores). People with diabetes are at particular risk. If you have a wound that won’t heal, you are not alone. Approximately three million to five million Americans experience this condition. The good news is that you no longer have to suffer. Washington Health System Wound and Skin Healing Center and Hyperbaric Medicine not only uses among the most advanced therapies available for healing, but it also addresses the underlying cause of the wound—for example, nutrition, lack of exercise, hygiene, ill-fitting shoes—to help eliminate recurrence.

 

 

If you have additional questions or wish to schedule an appointment, call (724) 223-6903 or email healingwounds@washingtonhospital.org