When most people think of diabetes, they don’t immediately think of wound care. However, diabetes and wound care are unfortunately closely related. South Arkansas in particular has a very high incidence of diabetes, which means the need for education and specialized treatment is extremely high – one of many reasons that the JRMC Wound Care Center is vital in our community.
Skin damage is a common issue for people with diabetes. Approximately 15 percent of people with the disease will develop a foot ulcer, due to high blood sugar levels, poor circulation, immune system issues, nerve damage or infection. Unfortunately, between 14 and 24 percent of patients with non-healing foot ulcers will experience an amputation. However, proper medical attention can turn those numbers around. At the JRMC Wound Care Center, we offer a number of leading-edge treatments including Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Total Contact Casting (TCC) and Negative Pressure Wound Therapy. These specialized wound care therapies can aid in wound closure, new tissue growth, wound tissue regeneration and much more.
Early detection and intervention can help reduce the possibility of limb loss. We recommend the following actions to help prevent diabetic foot ulcers in the first place:
• Stop smoking immediately
• Have comprehensive foot examinations each time you visit your healthcare provider (at least four times a year)
• Perform daily self-inspections of the feet, or have a family member perform the inspection
• Practice regular care of the feet including cleaning toenails and taking care of corns and calluses
• Choose supportive, proper footwear (shoes and socks)
• Take steps to improve circulation such as eating healthier and exercising on a regular basis
James Cagle Jr., M.D. is the Medical Director of the JRMC Wound Care Center. While many of the Center’s patients are living with diabetes, the JRMC Wound Care Center provides assistance with all types of non-healing wounds. For more information call 870-541-8747.