The Wound Healing Center offers solutions for chronic wounds

July 3, 2019

Mendy McIntosh, program director of Clark’s Wound Healing Center and Hyperbaric Medicine, shares about the effective treatments available for wound care patients.

How does the Wound Healing Center make a difference for patients? What sets the treatment program here apart?

We help hundreds of patients a year here at the Clark Memorial Wound Healing Center. Our goal is to help them heal and live better lives. Patients come to us with a variety of chronic wounds, which are defined as wounds that do not heal or improve on their own in 30 days. Last year, we opened our new Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) suite with two state-of-the-art chambers, bringing a much-needed service to the community. HBOT often speeds the healing process for patients who suffer from conditions like diabetic foot ulcers, soft tissue infections, or other hard-to-heal wounds.

What are the most common problems treated at the Wound Healing Center?

We treat many diabetic foot, venous and arterial ulcers, post-surgical wounds, and soft tissue radionecrosis (wounds stemming from prior radiation therapy).

What do people not tend to understand about wound healing and care?

One thing that people don’t understand is that a lingering wound needs attention. You shouldn’t “tough it out” because it could be serious. We’ve had patients come in to the ER for a sore on the foot, they suddenly develop a fever, and we ultimately discover that they have diabetes. It’s important to be in tune with your body, and examine your feet regularly, especially if you are a diabetic.

How does hyperbaric oxygen therapy help with healing?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is the administration of 100 percent oxygen in a pressurized environment – a hyperbaric chamber. The combination of pressure and oxygen significantly increases the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream. HBOT promotes faster wound healing, helps to preserve injured tissue, improves control of certain infections, and encourages the growth of new blood vessels.

How long have you been with Clark Memorial and what parts of your job are you most passionate about?

I’ve been with Clark Memorial for about 14 years. I really love getting to know our patients. Having a chronic wound can be very painful, and going through treatment can be quite depressing. But we see patients on a regular basis, and we get to know them and their families very well. They become like family to us. Every day, I leave work feeling like I made a difference in someone’s life. It just doesn’t get much better than that.

Learn more about the Wound Healing Center or call 812.283.2850 to schedule an appointment.