Living with diabetes: as pandemic ebbs, it's important to seek treatment for non-healing wounds
July 15, 2021
If you’re one of the more than 35 million Americans diagnosed with diabetes, you may have put self-care on the back burner during the COVID-19 crisis. In fact, a recent report from the American Psychological Association found nearly half of all Americans (47 percent) delayed or canceled healthcare since the beginning of the pandemic. As America begins to turn the corner and life starts getting back to normal, it’s a good time to renew your commitment to self-care including maintaining a proper diet, keeping glucose levels under control, getting regular exercise, and checking your feet and lower limbs every day for cuts, scratches, sores, or any abnormalities. If you’ve had a non-healing wound for more than a few weeks or are concerned about your wound’s progress, it’s important to seek evaluation and treatment as soon as possible.
“During the pandemic many of our patients were hesitant to come in and by the time we saw them we were dealing with a serious infection,” said Annamarie Bomar, program director, Center for Wound Healing & Hyperbarics at Southwestern Medical Center. “If you are a diabetic and notice a wound is not healing, postponing treatment is never a good idea because there can be serious consequences, including amputation.”
A festering wound can eventually develop into a diabetic ulcer, an open area of the skin caused by poor blood flow. This can be dangerous because the infection can spread to other parts of the body including deeper tissues, bones, joints and blood. Each day in the U.S. more than 230 lower limb amputations are performed due to a diabetic foot ulcer. In fact, many patients end up with lower extremity amputations to both limbs. When this happens, not only does this negatively impact the patient’s quality of life, it can dramatically shorten life expectancy.
According to a recent study, the five-year mortality rate for people with diabetic foot complications, including major amputation, was 56.6 percent. In comparison, the five-year mortality rate for all cancers combined was 31 percent.
At the Center for Wound Healing & Hyperbarics, we specialize in the care of chronic, non-healing wounds - many stemming from diabetes, cardiovascular disease, peripheral vascular disease (PAD) and other disorders. Our team is specially trained to properly evaluate and treat problem wounds in order to avoid complications. We’re dedicated to helping our patients live their best lives.
If you have diabetes and are suffering from a wound that hasn’t healed after a few weeks, don’t ignore it. Early treatment can save limbs and lives. Give us a call at 580.531.6441 for more information.